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Regional rivalries behind continued Afghan war

Regional rivalries behind continued Afghan war

Nov 16, 2015 - 17:51

KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai on Monday said the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States has been partially implemented.

He was speaking at a meeting involving lawmakers, security officials and civil society activists on the implementation of BSA here.

Stanikzai said a joint committee of Afghan defense, interior ministries and NATO and the US had discussed the implementation of all items of the agreement in Washington two weeks ago.

He said the fifth article of the deal called for fully financing Afghan forces, which has been completely implemented.

Stanikzai added that equipping of Afghan forces has improved, but the Afghan air force still faced shortages.

He demanded the international community help stop state-sponsored terrorism in the region and put pressure on neighboring countries to dismantle insurgents safe havens from where they attack Afghan security forces.

He said there should be no discrimination in the fight against terrorists, adding that the Afghan forces were on the frontline of the regional war.

According to him, terrorism could not be eliminated in Afghanistan until its sources outside of the country were active.

He said there was a dire need for a regional strategy to deal with the twin menace of terrorism and extremism, saying the international community should not allow Afghanistan to become a centre of hardcore militants.

Stanikzai said differences on regional level were one of the reasons that the war in Afghanistan could not be brought to an end and the Afghans continued to suffer.

He said using force was not the only option for conflict resolution rather there was need for internal, regional and international consensus.

The meeting was organised by the Wolesi Jirga’s international affairs commission.

Meshrano Jirga Speaker Fzal Hadi Muslimyar said Afghanistan developed its security, economy and other sectors with US assistance, but Afghan forces could not be strengthened as needed.

“The war in Afghanistan is not a domestic violence, but the whole world accepts that Afghanistan is in a state of war with Pakistan. We blame the America that it supports Pakistan instead of mounting pressure on it,” he said.

He said Pakistan, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was behind the war and violence in Afghanistan.