Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan vow to fight against terrorism; cooperate in trade, energy
|Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan vow to fight against terrorism; cooperate in trade, energy|
|By Shahid Saleem Khan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, Jul 30 (APP): Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan on Thursday expressed their resolve to cooperate in effectively addressing the menace of terrorism and organized crime, besides strengthening joint cooperation in trade, energy and communication sectors for mutual benefits and development of the region. This was agreed in a trilateral meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon at Varzob ‑ a picturesque tourist resort some 40 kilometers from capital Dushanbe.
The three leaders, who also signed a joint declaration, discussed the prospects of further promoting friendly relations, trilateral cooperation in different areas including trade, energy and communication, as well as regional and international issues.
“Today we will write another page in the history of region and bring the concept of regional ownership to the war in Afghanistan,” President Zardari told a joint press stakeout with leaders of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan after the meeting.
“We stand together and will face all eventualities,” Zardari said pointing to threats to national interests by terrorists.
He said the three countries will bring their strengths together for the progress and prosperity of the people and region.
The President reiterated his support to the leaders of Afghanistan and Tajikistan in the endeavors for joint cooperation and strengthening of relations.
Impressed by the serene venue President Zardari said, “I propose to the two Presidents to meet every year in this beautiful surrounding to make it memorable and historical occasion.”
He also thanked President Rahmon for hosting the summit and bringing the leaders of three countries together.
President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan said during the meeting three sides discussed all issues of mutual interest and concern including the cooperation in trade, energy, transportation, roads etc., adding, “We all are satisfied on the outcome of the meeting.”
President Karzai of Afghanistan termed the meeting “a good beginning” for jointly dealing with the issues and for ensuring peace and security and development in the region.
During the meeting the three leaders underscored the importance of further promoting bilateral and economic relations, with implementation of joint projects in areas of energy transfer from Tajikistan to Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as construction of inland rail road for transportation of passengers and goods.
The three sides agreed that terrorism is a regional phenomenon that necessitates a comprehensive, concerted and coordinated approach with full participation of regional states and local communities.
“Militancy, separatism, extremism and organized crimes undermine regional peace and stability and pose a threat to the security of all regional states. Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan declare their readiness to cooperate in effectively addressing the menace of terrorism and organized crime,” said a joint declaration signed by the three Presidents.
The leaders of three countries expressed concern over the increased turnover and trafficking of narcotics, which provide a ready source of terror funding, and pose a threat to social stability and cohesion regionally, and globally.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan underlined the need to significantly improve and upgrade their economic and trade relations for durable development of the region and, in this regard, agreed to create favorable atmosphere and working conditions for encouraging interaction among their businessmen and investors in their territories.
The three sides expressed their support and commitment to strive to practically implement the construction of rail, roads and highways on the route Panji Poyon‑Sherkhon and Bandar‑Kabul‑Peshawar, giving Tajikistan access to sea through Pakistani seaports. They agreed to take all measures to facilitate early operationalization of the route.
Pakistan and Afghanistan supported the efforts of Tajik government for establishment of regional electricity networks, and in this connection the three sides emphasized that concrete measures will be taken for early realization of CASA‑1000 and establishment of the regional Central Asia ‑ South Asia energy market.
The three countries will adopt collective measures and evolve joint programmes to prevent plantation, production and use of narcotics and will conduct joint struggle against the organized groups of drug dealers.
In this regard, Tajikistan and Pakistan expressed their readiness to assist Afghanistan implementation of programmes related to the plantation of substitute crops. Simultaneously, Pakistan and Afghanistan found the proposal of Tajikistan to establish a regional Counter Narcotics Center as reasonable and an effective way to deal with this menace.
Pakistan and Tajikistan also renewed their support to the Government of Afghanistan for efforts aimed at promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, as well as for the country’s economic development and reconstruction.
The three countries declared their readiness to cooperate within the framework of UN, ECO, OIC and SCO and within the frameworks of other international and regional organizations. The three sides will coordinate and support their stance on regional and international issues through exchange of views and discussion.