No military solution to Afghan conflict: Maleeha Lodhi


UNITED NATIONS: Dec 24 (INP) Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told the Security Council on Saturday that continuing use of force in Afghanistan cannot deliver peace.

Pakistan’s envoy to the world body was speaking at a Security Council debate on Afghanistan.

Lodhi told the council that after sixteen years of war waged by the world’s most powerful military forces against irregular insurgents has yet to yield a military solution to the conflict. She said that neither Kabul and the Coalition nor the Afghan Taliban, can impose a military solution on each other.

“Do we choose the path of war or peace,” asked Lodhi from the council.

She further pointed out that the international community is unanimous in its view that sustainable peace is only achievable through a negotiated end to the war. Pakistan, she asserted, has long proposed this as the most viable course to end decades of conflict and suffering in Afghanistan.

She stressed that the search for peace through negotiations must be the priority objective for the Afghan Government, for the Taliban, for Afghanistan’s neighbors and for the United Nations.

Lodhi also warned the council of a new threat which has emerged in Afghanistan with the presence of multiple groups of terrorists from various parts of the world: the TTP, ETIM, EMU and other groups who have now formed under the umbrella of Daesh.

“It appears that Daesh’s ‘core’, under pressure in Iraq and Syria, may be relocating to these ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan”, she added.

Pakistan’s envoy to the UN further stated that the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan poses a threat to all of its neighbours.

“It is the responsibility of the Afghan Government and the international coalition to root out Daesh and associated terrorists from Afghan territory and prevent them from launching attacks against Afghanistan’s neighbours,” said Lodhi to the Security Council.

She also told the Council about the “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Solidarity”, proposed by Pakistan last month to strengthen relations with Afghanistan in all spheres – political, economic, defence, education and culture.

Highlighting the need to secure the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and prevent cross border terrorism, Ambassador Lodhi said that this can be achieved only through constant vigilance, effective management and real-time communication. “Terrorists should not be allowed to provoke clashes between our border security forces”, she remarked.

The peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan, she said, were bound by the unbreakable ties of history, faith, blood and language, as well as mutual interdependence.

“When the people of Afghanistan needed refuge, the Pakistani people opened their homes and their hearts to them. Close to three million Afghans still reside in Pakistan,” she added.