”World left Pakistan stranded in the middle of the Afghan war” says PM Abbasi

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said the world had left the country stranded in the middle of the Afghan war, in his closing speech of the three-day International Counter-Terrorism Forum (IICTF-2018).

During the three-day conference organised by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), the premier said Pakistan is not only just an ally but a frontline state in the war against terror.

The conference envisaged on the theme of Pakistan’s Endeavours and Achievements in countering extremism and terrorism. The theme symbolised Pakistan’s long struggle in bringing peace back to its nation after facing a multitude of challenges on national and international fronts.

Experts from all across the world attended the conference, including representatives from China, Russia, France, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Scholars, experts, policymakers and politicians from Pakistan also attended the IICTF-2018.

Abbasi, in his address, said Pakistan had rendered sacrifices of as many as 50,000 people in the war against terror, including former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We are cracking down on terrorism. This is not just a war for the government, the entire Pakistani nation is with us. I always ask people to look at the polling stations to know how many times Pakistan has rejected terrorism.”

The premier observed that no other country wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan because the latter suffers the most from the instability in its bordering regions.

The premier called special attention of the participants to the terrorism permeating from the Indian occupied Kashmir. He called upon the international community to accept the reality prevailing in Indian-held Kashmir, whereby 17 civilians were martyred by Indian troops.

Abbasi stressed that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved through implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution calling for a plebiscite in the area.

Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif spoke at the closing ceremony. Photo: NACTA

Earlier in the evening, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had paid a tribute to the unsung heroes of Pakistan who laid their lives to counter terrorism and extremism.

Referring to the National Action Plan, the National Internal Security Policy 2014-2018, and the National Counter Extremism Policy Guidelines, he said that Pakistan has engaged all parts of the state in its devoted mission to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Leader of Opposition in Senate Sherry Rehman and NACTA Chairperson Ihsan Ghani urged unity in the nation against its war against terrorism.

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