Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, today, was amongst the four panelists at the Aspen Security Forum at Colorado where he discussed about Afghanistan and Pakistan: Lessons and Prospects. The other panelists included Ambassador Eklil Hakimi of Afghanistan, Mr. Jeff Eggars, the Special Assistant on Afghanistan Pakistan in the National Security Council, and General (Retd) John Allen, the former US Commander in Afghanistan. The event was moderated by Ms. Kimberly Dozier.
Ambassador Jilani, while talking about Pakistan’s own democratic transition a year earlier, expressed optimism about the election outcome in Afghanistan. Ambassador Jilani stated that both the Presidential candidates in Afghanistan were conscious of the importance of credibility and transparency of this election. Being appreciative of the positive engagement of the US with the Afghan leadership, Ambassador Jilani hoped that the two candidates would pull their country out of the political crisis. He wished them well on behalf of Pakistan.
Responding to questions about the North Waziristan operation, Ambassador Jilani reiterated that the operation was going to be comprehensive and non-discriminatory and will target all terrorists on the Pakistani soil without any color or affiliation. He said the operation enjoyed the broad national consensus as well as the full backing of the tribal elders of the region. Responding to a question about the time frame of the operation, Ambassador stated it was difficult to predict at this moment when the clean- up process would complete. Talking about the details of the operation, Ambassador Jilani said while hammer of the Pakistani forces against all militants was working in full swing, the corresponding anvil from the Afghan side would be helpful to decisively crush the terrorists once and for all. Rebutting any misgivings, Ambassador Jilani clarified that no-terrorist groups including the Haqqani Network was being given any safe exit as reported in the media. He hoped that the Afghan National Security Forces would be able to assume the security control of the country after the transition of the international forces from Afghanistan.
During the interactive discussion, Ambassador Hakimi of Afghanistan stated that his government was coordinating with Pakistan to look at the border issues to address the Pakistani concerns. General John Allen, responding to a separate question, appreciated the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism especially the Pakistani military which lost more soldiers than any other country.
July 24, 2014
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