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Pakistan Continues to Offer Support for Stability in Afghanistan

by Newsweek Pakistan

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Security officials brief lawmakers on various issues related to national security, foreign affairs and internal and external security challenges

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Monday was informed that Pakistan desires an inclusive, representative government in Afghanistan and will continue to offer its full support for peace and stability in the war-torn state.

Chaired by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, the committee—comprising members of both the Senate and the National Assembly—met at Parliament House and was briefed on various matters related to national security, foreign affairs, and the internal and external challenges facing Pakistan. According to a statement issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, the meeting’s participants also discussed regional and political challenges, particularly the situations in India-held Kashmir and Afghanistan.

“It was outlined that Pakistan would continue all-out support for peace and stability in Afghanistan. It was also hoped that the territory of Afghanistan would not be used against Pakistan,” read the statement. It said that the meeting’s participants had expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s strategy to tackle internal and external challenges and expressed well-wishes for prosperity, development and progress of Afghanistan.

According to sources, the in-camera briefing’s focus was on the security establishment’s belief that peace in Afghanistan would pave the way for regional peace and prosperity. They said security officials had said that Islamabad was striving to ensure that Afghanistan avoided looming humanitarian and economic crises, adding that the international community was being engaged in this regard.

“At the end of the briefing, a question and answer session was held in which the members of the committee presented their recommendations,” it said.

Ahead of the meeting, it was believed that part of the briefing would revolve around reports of the government initiating talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. According to the meeting’s participants, the issue came up but was not debated in depth. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, who also attended the meeting, told Geo News later that lawmakers had merely been informed that talks had commenced; not that a deal had already been signed.

Hours after the meeting, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain announced that the government and the TTP had agreed to a month-long extendable ceasefire.

According to the National Assembly Secretariat, the meeting was briefed by the military leadership, with both Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed in attendance. Additionally, it was also attended by the chief ministers of all four provinces; senior lawmakers; the prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir; and various members of the federal cabinet.

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