No military solution to Afghan conflict, Lodhi tells UN Security Council

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told the Security Council 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 negotited 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.

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 apprised the council regarding the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Solidarity which was proposed by Pakistan in November to strengthen relations with Afghanistan in all spheres – political, economic, defence, education and culture.

Lodhi highlighted the need to secure the Pak-Afghan border and to prevent cross-border attacks. “Terrorists should not be allowed to provoke clashes between our border security forces.”

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.