South Asia

Pakistan concerned about threats from terrorist groups in Afghanistan: Sharif

Photo: UN website.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday said his country shares the international community’s concerns about the threat posed by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, naming Daesh, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, al-Qaeda and others.

“They all need to be dealt with comprehensively, with the support and cooperation of the Interim Afghan authorities,” he said, urging the international community that, in turn, it should address Afghanistan’s “dire humanitarian needs.”

He added Afghanistan is faced with a unique challenge. “Around 30 million Afghans are left without a functional economy and banking system that allows ordinary Afghans to make a living to be able to build a better future,” Sharif said.

The Pakistani premier said his country is working to encourage respect for the rights of Afghan girls and women to education and work.

He said that despite that, at this point, isolating the Taliban could aggravate the suffering of the Afghan people, who are already destitute.

“We must avoid another civil war, rising terrorism, drug trafficking, or new refugees — which none of Afghanistan’s neighbors are in a position to accommodate,” Sharif said.

Pakistan is accused of harboring terrorist and insurgent groups like the Taliban, TTP and others. But the country has always rejected such remarks.

“Over the last two decades, we have suffered more than 80,000 casualties and over $150 billion in economic losses due to terrorist attacks,” Sharif said, calling Pakistan a main victim of terrorism.