Beijing urged to do more to help with terror fight

08:23, October 16, 2009      

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Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday appealed for more help from China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to support their ongoing struggle against terrorism.

Capacity building, reconstruction, poverty-relief and intelligence exchange are the areas in which China and the SCO can help, Afghan Second Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told China Daily.

Experts agreed that China should offer more support in those areas but urged Beijing to keep away from military engagement, because dispatching more troops will not resolve the problem.

"The western countries are working to train the security forces in Afghanistan and help the Afghans have the ability to help themselves. The SCO can play a role in building capacities" in training national police and national security forces, Khalili said.

He added that fighting terrorism in Afghanistan "has always been" a shared responsibility and task of the world, because, without the effort, the "whole region (Central Asia) will be affected".

Khalili, 59, said ensuring peace and security depends most on building civilian infrastructure and increasing military and civil reconstruction efforts.

The vice-president said Afghanistan needs the SCO to help eliminate poverty, the "root cause of rampant terrorism".

Gilani, who became the Pakistani prime minister in March 2008, also called for more help from China in intelligence work.

"There should be more exchange of intelligence and information between the two countries," the 57-year-old said.

Islamabad started a major anti-terror mission in the Swat Valley region in northern Pakistan in May.

Even though the mission claimed some significant achievements, such as the killing of former Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in August, some major cities in the area have seen a rise in terror attacks.

Militants yesterday launched several attacks on police, in Lahore in the Pakistani heartland and in the troubled northwest, killing 24 people.

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