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Saudi, UAE Lauded For Uplift in Terrorist Cleared Areas: DG ISPR

Rawalpindi (February 25, 2018): Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has hailed Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates for their role in development works in areas cleared from terrorists in Pakistan.

In an interview with Arab News during a visit to its Dubai bureau, the DG ISPR said that there is no second opinion about Pakistan’s relations with the two Gulf states and that Islamabad has a history of wonderful relationships with KSA and UAE.“This cooperation is increasing with every passing day, and we believe this cooperation is in the interest of not only Pakistan, but also the region,” Ghafoor said.

He said the development work in areas cleared by Pakistani forces has been “assisted phenomenally” by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.“When it comes to the development phase in the conflict area that Pakistani forces have cleared, the development work has been assisted phenomenally both by KSA and the UAE, especially in the social welfare field with hospitals and water supply schemes.”

Commenting on Pakistan’s concerns with Afghanistan and situation along the border, the DG ISPR said the situation is different on either side of the Pak-Afghan border, contending that Pakistan has fought a war [on its side of border] for the last 10-15 years.

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He said the areas under the influence of terrorists on Pakistan side of the border have been cleared, because Pakistani forces were competent, capable and they had the capacity do that.

Ghafoor said the issue now resides inside Afghanistan, pointing to “ungoverned” swathes and “unchecked threat” across the border.“But unfortunately on Afghan side, due to lack of capacity of Afghan forces, and now with reduced footprint of international forces, there are areas which are still ungoverned. So the issue now resides inside Afghanistan with the threat still unchecked.”

He maintained that to have enduring peace along Pak-Afghan border, the effort in Afghanistan is to succeed as well.

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