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Terrorism hampering development in region: Af-Pak officials

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The annual “Heart of Asia’ summit aimed at shoring up support for peace and security development kicked off  in Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan where Afghan and Pakistani officials reaffirmed their desire for durable peace in the region as well as in the world.

Tawab Ghorzang, spokesman of the office of National Security Council tweeted that President Ashraf Ghani and his national security advisor Hanif Atmar are visiting Pakistan today to attend the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process 2015, regional conference in Islamabad.

Hekmat Khali Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister and Sartaj Aziz, Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs on the summit called for an urgent, united response to the menace of militancy threatening the region and the world.

Addressing senior officials ahead of the opening of the Heart of Asia Conference, Khalil Karzai said the emergence of terrorist group, Islamic State, also known as Daesh in various parts of the region and the world is a serious threat and concerted efforts are needed to curb the new yet the deadliest threat.

He added that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of the region. He also assured that Afghanistan is determined to continue fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestation.

“Afghanistan is looking forward to have strong relations with regional countries in a bid to bolster up economic relations and also to address the challenges,” Khalil said.

Aziz termed the conference as an effective platform to engage in result-oriented discussions on promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He added that “Heart of Asia” summit, which was formed in 2011 had made breakthrough in promotion of durable peace and stability in the war-hit nations.

Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj is also visiting Islamabad to attend the summit.

Foreign Ministers of China, Iran, and India including Afghanistan and Pakistan for the first time will come under one roof to attend the summit.

The United States of America expressed satisfaction over participation of the high level dignitaries from Afghanistan and India in the summit.

Antony Blinken, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan along with other US officials is also attending the summit.

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