On the eve of a key conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul today, Pakistan on Tuesday said the world community should focus on implementing existing mechanisms for regional peace and security instead of floating proposals for creating a new security structure for the war-torn country.
Reacting to proposals being floated by some countries to create a new security structure for Afghanistan as the US prepares to pull out its troops from there, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said there was no dearth of mechanisms in the region.
“We have so many mechanisms, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in which Pakistan has an observer’s status, SAARC and Economic Cooperation Organisation,” Khar, who will represent Pakistan in the Conference on Afghan, said.
Instead of proposing new mechanisms, efforts should be made to implement the existing mechanisms for peace, security and development in the region, she said.
“Any new structure would not benefit Afghanistan and any process for solving the Afghan problem should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” she said.
Khar said Pakistan will support all initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting the sovereignty of Afghanistan.
Clinton cancels visit to Istanbul
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called off a trip to London and Istanbul to be with her ailing mother, the State Department announced. “Due to illness with her mother, Secretary Clinton has cancelled her scheduled travel Tuesday night to London and Istanbul, and will instead remain in Washington,” a department spokesman said in a statement.