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Saturday Aug 18 2018
Web Desk

Pak Army chief 'expresses deep concern' as violence in Afghanistan escalates

Web Desk
LEFT: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail/Files; RIGHT: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday expressed "deep concern" over the rising number of violent incidents in Pakistan's westside neighbour, Afghanistan, that have led to the "loss of precious innocent lives".

The "COAS reiterates that there is no support to any terrorist activity inside Afghanistan from Pakistan side," a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) late last night said.

"The alleged return of injured / dead terrorists from Ghazni is incorrect," it added.

"Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa (COAS) expresses deep concern on recent surge in violence inside Afghanistan and loss of precious innocent lives."

General Bajwa, according to the ISPR, further mentioned that terming foreign people — working in Afghanistan and falling victim to the violence — as terrorists was "unfortunate", since there were "scores of Pakistanis working in Afghanistan in connection with various businesses/ labour who periodically fall victim to terrorism acts alongside their Afghan brothers inside Afghanistan."

In addition to this, the COAS highlighted that many terrorists associated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and hiding under Afghan identities "are transported into Pakistan for medical help" when they are "injured/ dead".

"Additionally, Afghan refugees and their relatives also resort to similar practices," he added.

While Gen Bajwa, according to the ISPR's statement, stands resolute in his pledge to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani for facilitating peace in Kabul, he "re-emphasises that Afghanistan needs to look inward as the problem resides inside Afghanistan".

"The solution thus remains on making substantive progress on Afghan reconciliation efforts as well as on [a] speedy implementation of [the] Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS)," the press release said.

"Pakistan continues to support all initiatives aimed at bringing peace in Afghanistan as there cannot be enduring peace in Pakistan and stability in the region if there is no peace in Afghanistan," it added.