Thursday, 28 June 2012 18:00
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that it had acted with restraint to a recent cross-border attack by Taliban militants that killed 17 Pakistani soldiers, but warned against recurrance of such provocations from the Afghan side.
"Preventing recurrence of such incidents is absolutely imperative -- and safe havens in Afghanistan of such people must be dissuaded," Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, said of the attack that took place on June 24 in upper Dir.
"It is a grave incident, which unfortunately is not unprecedented," he told the 15-nation Council, which debated the situation in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Haroon, describing great costs to Pakistan in dealing with security challenges and refugees emanating from the Afghan situation, expressed deep concern over provocations from Afghan areas with sizable Afghan forces and international presence.
Despite such provocations, "we neither play the blame game, nor conduct diplomacy through media", he said.
The Pakistani envoy said that apart from capacity-building of the Afghan National Security Forces, Pakistan had sought closer engagement with Afghanistan and its international partners on all security-related issues.
Pakistan, he added, had done so by maintaining a robust presence of its forces along the international border. Its deployment of troops and paramilitary in the border region had far exceeded the number of international troops in the whole of Afghanistan. That had come at considerable economic, political and human cost for Pakistan.
In conclusion, Ambassador Haroon reiterated Pakistan's commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. "We have vital stakes in a peaceful Afghanistan," he said.
"Our Afghan brethren and Pakistan have suffered for far too long. We hope and pray for an early end to their plight, so that our two peoples could embark on a joint quest for progress and development, integrated with the rest of the Asia and the world.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012