Islamabad compelled to cooperate with Kabul: Bilour

KABUL (Pajhwok): Prominent Pakistan’s Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haji Ghulam Bilour says he is optimistic about Afghanistan’s reconciliation process and that Islamabad has been left with no option but to cooperate with Kabul.
Bilour, a former ANP vice-president and former federal railways minister, is in Kabul as part of a delegation to attend a seminar.
“Now the time has come for the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan to start living in peace and brotherhood,” the nationalist leader told Pajhwok Afghan News during a visit to the agency’s headquarters in Kabul.
He said Pakistan’s situation had recently deteriorated and the Pakistan army had already the plan to improve relations and cooperation with Afghanistan after the new government’s coming into power in Kabul.
“(Pakistan) Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif had once made it clear in a meeting that a delegation should be sent to Afghanistan for talks in order to start a brotherly life with Afghans.”
Bilour said it seemed the situation was heading to normalcy, if enemies of peace and the two countries did not succeed in derailing the process.
“Gen. Raheel and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif both have reached the conclusion that peace and stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan are interlinked,” said the seasoned politician.
He said previously Taliban militants would freely move between Afghanistan and Pakistan for terrorist activities, but their cross-border movement had been curtailed as a result of improved cooperation between the two countries.
There had been wars in the Europe, rendering backward the European countries, but they soon realized that wars only offered destruction and thus they reconciled and made a union, recalled Bilour, saying the subcontinent was now reaping the fruits of peace.
He urged Pakistani and Afghan leaders to learn from Europeans and regional countries including India, Iran, Bangladesh and others should follow into Europeans’ footsteps in developing the region.
“If the war in this region is brought to an end and peace and development is allowed to persist, it will enable us to eliminate poverty, boost trade and relieve our masses.”
Bilour warned if regional countries did not learn from the past mistakes, they would continue to plunge into chaos and the worst sufferers would be Pashtuns.
“The days are gone when one nation would dream conquering the other. We are not living in the past; governments should sit together, set aside their differences and work for development.”
To a question that if Pakistan was sincere this time in cooperation with Afghanistan, Haji Sahib said: “Pakistan is compelled to cooperate for the sake of improvement in the situation. Both the countries have suffered and cannot bear further sufferings.”
The ANP leader asked the Pakistani government to stop harassing Afghan refugees living there. He said Afghan refugees played a key role in Pakistan’s economic development and if the refugees were expelled, it would render many Pakistanis jobless.
“Police think Afghan refugees are involved in terrorist activities, therefore they have started arresting them.”
About Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s remarks that the insurgency in Afghanistan was legitimate, Bilour said the former cricketer had no right to make such statements.
“The governments in Afghanistan are elected, they represent all the Afghans and fighting against these governments is illegal,” said Bilour.
About former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s recent statements, Bilour said the former strongman’s remarks had longer a value. “With his statements, Musharraf wants to attract people’s attention to him.”
It may worth mentioning that Bilour had offered a reward for the assassination of an American priest who burnt a copy of the holy Quran four years ago.
Now Bilour says if someone kills owner of the company who published 30 million copies of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that published blasphemous caricatures, he will give the assassin a $200,000 bounty.
“I am not a terrorist, I am the follower of the doctrine of non-violence, but anyone who insults our Prophet (PBUH), I cannot this tolerate this.”
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