Pakistan, NATO to cement political ties

Updated on May 09, 2007 05:02 PM IST
Pakistan and NATO will institutionalise a political dialogue and expand military cooperation to develop a relationship beyond the war on terror.
HT Image
HT Image
IANS | By, Islamabad

Pakistan and the 26-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will institutionalise a political dialogue and expand military cooperation to develop a relationship beyond the war on terror.

"In the context of Afghanistan, both sides agree that nation-building, reconstruction and development rather than a military solution was the key to a durable peace and stability in that country," media reports on Wednesday.

This was the outcome of meetings that visiting NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer held with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri in Islamabad on Tuesday.

"We are here to see if we can come to a more mature, more regular political dialogue between Pakistan and NATO," Scheffer said at a joint press conference with Aziz, adding that military-to-military contacts between them were moving well.

Questioned about the contours of the political dialogue given that NATO was a military alliance, Kasuri retorted: "Before you ask a military to do a job, you have to agree politically".

Scheffer agreed, and pointed out that NATO was a political-military alliance.

He, however, declined to comment on the call for political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

"NATO should not be involved directly or indirectly in the political process. NATO is not in Afghanistan because it would like to leave any form of political footprints in this region," Scheffer maintained.

At the same time, he could not lay down the roadmap for NATO's exit from Afghanistan.

"My expectation is that NATO forces will be there for the foreseeable future," Scheffer contended.

Warning that if Afghanistan again became a failed state like it was under the Taliban rule, the consequences of this would be felt not only in Pakistan and in the region but globally.

Scheffer also commended Turkey for bringing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Musharraf together on the sidelines of a conference in Ankara.

"It is my sincere hope that on the basis of that summit the process will result in a follow-up that is in the interest of everybody," he said.

Kasuri appreciated NATO's offer of training programmes for Pakistan armed forces personnel at the organisation's schools in Germany and Italy.

Speaking about his discussions on Afghanistan, Kasuri said he had told the NATO chief that the onus for border control could not be placed on Pakistan alone.

He disclosed that the number of Pakistani troops deployed on the Afghan border had gone up to 90,000.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • None of the Langya virus cases have so far resulted in fatality and most are mild, with patients suffering from flu-like symptoms. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

    New ‘Langya’ virus hits China as 35 people found infected: How deadly is it?

    Currently, no vaccine or treatment for Langya virus is available, and the only solution is supportive care to manage complications pertaining to the zoonotic disease. A study published earlier revealed that the Langya virus was first spotted in human beings in 2019, with majority of the recent cases this year.

  • Bangladesh’s finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Chinese President Xi Jinping

    Bangladesh minister warns against China's BRI lending, cites Sri Lanka's example

    Bangladesh's finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has warned that developing countries must think twice about taking more loans through China's Belt and Road Initiative as global inflation and slowing growth add to the strains on indebted emerging markets. “Everybody is blaming China. China cannot disagree. It's their responsibility,” he added. The country, a participant in China's BRI, owes about $4 billion, or 6 per cent of its total foreign debt, to Beijing.

  • Israeli security forces take positions as Palestinians burn tyres during clashes after an attempt by Isreali settlers to remove Palestinian flags east of the West Bank village of Qalqiliya, on May 31, 2022.

    Israeli forces kill two Palestinian gunmen; two teens killed in clashes

    Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian militant commander and another fighter in a gunbattle in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, triggering further clashes in which Palestinians said two teens were killed in separate incidents. Israeli forces surrounded the house of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a senior commander of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group long on Israel's wanted list.

  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    How Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit rocked Asia

    United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Asia tour, which won bipartisan support at home and among the world's democracies, has escalated tensions with not just one, but two, regional rivals. Pelosi last week led a congressional delegation to Taiwan, in addition to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, despite weeks of warnings from Beijing of repercussions if the top leader in the US Congress landed in Taiwan.

  • China conducted what it described as "precision missile strikes" on Thursday in waters off Taiwan's coasts as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (AP File Photo)

    China’s geostrategic ambitions won’t stop with Taiwan, will go beyond: Taipei

    NEW DELHI: China's “geostrategic ambitions” go well beyond Taiwan as its influence extends to Southeast and South Asia and all freedom-loving countries should work together to respond to the “expansion of authoritarianism”, Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu said on Tuesday. China's People's Liberation Army has said the drills focused on joint blockade and joint support operations. “China's influence also extends into Southeast Asia, South Asia, and even Africa and Latin America,” he said.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now