President Hamid Karzai on Friday denounced the twin scourge of terrorism and extremism as a serious threat to the security, stability and prosperity of the entire region.
Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, the president said terrorist hideouts were outside Afghanistan. Regional states should jointly combat terrorist, he suggested.
With extremism on the rise, security and stability in the region was under threatened, he said, stressing close cooperation among member countries in the fight against the menace.
He warned the use of terror as a foreign policy tool had dangerous long-term repercussions, asking SCO and SAARC to devise a joint strategy for dealing with the common challenge to ensure security in the region.
“Peace has been a long-cherished aspiration of the Afghans,” the president remarked, saying stability in his country was in the interest of the whole region. His administration was vigorously pursuing the goal of reconciliation, he insisted.
Karzai called for regional friends and international partners to help direct peace parley between the Afghan government and its armed opponents, who have stepped up attacks in recent months, as foreign troops prepare to pull out.
“Afghanistan has long been a proponent of enhanced regional cooperation in diverse fields, particularly security and trade,” the president continued.
The presidential election results would be announced soon, he told the participants, saying they were awaiting the inauguration of a new head of state. An early transfer of power would help stabilise the country, he concluded.
Karzai is accompanied by a delegation, including Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani, National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Foreign Affairs Advisor Yahya Marufi.
The 14th SCO summit kicked off in Turkmenistan’s capital in the morning with delegates from 15 countries in attendance. The intergovernmental organisation was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Observer states include Iran, India, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Pakistan. Turkey, Sri Lanka, Belarus and Turkmenistan have also attended the gatherings as special guests.