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Russia, Pak express concern over instability in Afghanistan

June 01, 2013 20:00 IST

Expressing concern over political instability and drug trafficking in Afghanistan, Russia and Pakistan said the situation could deteriorate further post-2014 after International Security Assistant Forces are withdrawn from the country.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai would have to work towards reconciliation with Taliban and ensure stability ahead of the 2014 general elections, said the two officials from Pakistan and Russia at the Shangri-La Dialogue here.

"Afghanistan shares southern border with Russia and it is a matter of concern," said Senator Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Federation of Russia.

The political situation in country has worsened in recent months and drug trafficking increased, Margelov said, adding Russia would join the global fight against the opium-poppy supply from Afghanistan.

He said as Afghanistan was currently going through the worst security environment, the quick ISAF draw-down was also a matter of concern for the region.

Margelov also urged the international community to help build Afghan economy by providing economic assistances, pumping money and creating jobs.

Russia was committed to continue its economic aid to Afghanistan as it was hoping to have a peaceful neighbour, he said.

Afghanistan should also ensure the next general elections have the participation of all ethnic groups, said Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi, Director General of Inter Services Intelligence.

He said that Karzai was not seen to be working towards reconciliation with the Taliban as it was important to do so.

The elections to be successful should be inclusive of all participants in the country otherwise, the next elected government would not be able to govern the country and ethnic disintegration would result similar to the civil strife of the 1990s, said the two officials.

Afghanistan National Security Forces seem to be weak for handling the security after the ISAF draw-down, they said.

This would leave Afghanistan with political and security instability, the officials pointed out.

The three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, which ends tomorrow, discussed and debated on various aspects of Asian securities.

Gurdip Singh in Singapore
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