In address, Pakistan’s national security adviser says Islamabad condemns all forms of extremism, including state-backed terrorism targeting people under occupation
Failure to attain peace in Afghanistan is the most immediate challenge facing the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on Wednesday.
In a formal statement submitted at the 16th meeting of national security advisers of SCO member states in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, he said that Pakistan had historically been most affected by unrest in neighboring Afghanistan. He said Pakistan was fully committed to supporting a stable, peaceful, sovereign, and united Afghanistan at peace with itself and with its neighbors. However, he cautioned against spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan, and reiterated that Islamabad cannot allow Afghan soil to be used against it.
He said the incumbent government of Pakistan prioritized increasing economic activity, reducing unemployment, and alleviating poverty, noting that this was in sync with the goals of the SCO.
Later, in his address to the meeting, he stressed that Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms, including state-backed terrorism against people under illegal occupation. “Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism, planned, supported and sponsored from across its borders, which unfortunately remains 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.
Yusuf said terrorism should not be associated with any race, religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. He claimed Pakistan’s vision for itself was that of “a melting pot” for positive global interests. He also stressed the need to counter the negative economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to champion the Global Initiative for Debt Relief.
The meeting concluded with all member states, including Pakistan and India, issuing a joint protocol signed by all NSAs that were in attendance.
Created in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, the SCO added Pakistan and India as members in 2017. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia serve as observer states. The “alliance of the East” deliberates on various matters of mutual interest, including foreign affairs, defense, national security, economy and trade, science and technology, youth and women empowerment, tourism and media.