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ISLAMABAD: National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf Wednesday said Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism against the people under illegal occupation.

He said Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism planned, supported and sponsored from across its borders, which unfortunately remained a reality even today. “It has at its roots, actors, who may present themselves as advocates of global cooperation against terrorism, but in reality perpetuate it to create instability in our country and the region,” he said while addressing the 16th meeting of the National Security Advisers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The adviser said, “Terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any race, religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.” The NSA said Pakistan did not wish to be part of any camp politics or geopolitical confrontation. “Pakistan’s vision for itself is that of a melting pot for positive global interests.”

On the occasion, the member states, including Pakistan and India issued a joint protocol signed by all the NSAs. In his formal statement, Dr Yusuf further said Pakistan’s main priority of generating greater economic activity; reducing unemployment and poverty alleviation were completely in sync with the SCO’s direction. He said the vision of the transformed Pakistan was centered on economic security, adding the country’s emphasis had shifted from geo-politics to geo-economics.

Dr Moeed said failure to attain peace in Afghanistan was the most immediate challenge facing the SCO today. As a country historically most affected by developments within Afghanistan, Pakistan was fully committed to supporting a stable, peaceful, sovereign, and united Afghanistan at peace with itself and with the neighbors, he added. “It is our firm view that a negotiated political settlement that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned is the only way to achieve this desired outcome”, a press release quoted the adviser as saying. He cautioned against spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan. Unfortunately, not everyone in the region, who professed to prefer peace in Afghanistan, did so in reality, he added. The adviser said Pakistan could not allow the Afghan soil to be used against it.

He apprised the meeting about Pakistan’s success in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, stressed the need to counter the pandemic’s negative economic impact and highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to champion the Global Initiative for Debt Relief.

Dr Yusuf also informed his counterparts about Pakistan’s efforts in the area of climate change. He said Pakistan was a low carbon emitting country but one of the most vulnerable to climate change. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has made climate change his top priority and has emerged as one of the leaders of the Global South on environment,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the NSA held an important bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Platonovich, who extended a special invitation to Dr Yusuf to hold a full scale bilateral NSAs dialogue. During the meeting, the two discussed issues of mutual interest and expressed satisfaction on the progress of Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations, while sharing serious concern about the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

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