Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Pakistan concerned about terrorism threat in South Asia: FO responds to BRICS’ statement

Pakistan remains concerned at the rise of extremist ideologies, intolerance in region, said Nafees Zakaria in a statement

Foreign office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan is concerned regarding the presence of groups like Daesh, ETIM, MIU in the ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan. Photo: file 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is seriously concerned about the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the South Asian region, said Foreign Office Spokesman Nafeez Zakaria on Tuesday while responding to the statement released by the BRICS leaders.

“Many terrorist groups based in the region, including in Afghanistan, such as the TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] and its associates like JuA [Jamaat-ul-Ahrar] have been responsible for extreme acts of violence against Pakistani people,” Zakaria said in a statement.

He further said, “We are deeply concerned at the presence of groups like Daesh, ETIM and IMU in the ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan as they pose a threat to peace and security in the region.”

The FO spokesman further added that Pakistan remains concerned at the rise of extremist ideologies and intolerance in the region which encourages social stratification and systematic targeting of minorities.

Earlier in the day, the Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan has no ‘safe haven’ for terrorists on its soil, as he rejected the declaration naming terrorist groups in the region by leaders of member countries at the BRICS Summit.

“We reject the declaration [released by member countries] at the BRICS Summit,” he said during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence on Tuesday.

“Forty per cent of Afghanistan is a safe haven for terrorists,” he said later while talking to the media. "Pakistan has taken action against all groups on its soil and only the remnants of some are left," he added.

On Monday, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations at the 9th BRICS Summit in China.

Leaders of member countries released the Xiamen declaration expressing concern over the security situation in the region.

"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals....We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir," said the declaration.