From the event

30 Jan 2007

NATO and Pakistan agree
on Afghanistan approach

NATO and Pakistan have shared objectives, stressed the Pakistani Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, during his visit to NATO HQ on 30 January.

The Prime Minister said this referred both to the wider goal of world peace, but also to efforts to bring stability and prosperity to Afghanistan.

Pakistan is committed to a strong, stable Afghanistan,” said the Prime Minister, “the one country that will benefit the most, after Afghanistan itself, will be Pakistan.”

The Prime Minister visited NATO HQ to meet with Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and to exchange views with the representatives of NATO’s 26 member countries.

Common approach

Discussions focused on efforts to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, where NATO is leading a 32,000-strong international security assistance force, ISAF. 

The Ambassadors and the Prime Minister agreed that success in Afghanistan required a sustained, comprehensive approach involving economic, political and military elements.

The answer in Afghanistan reads development, reconstruction, where Pakistan also plays a role,” the Secretary General told reporters, “We should all do more, because we all don’t do enough.

Among other issues, the Ambassadors and Prime Minister Aziz discussed the increasing drug cultivation in Afghanistan, refugee issues, and efforts to prevent extremist infiltration into Afghanistan via the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The Prime Minster said he hoped these consultations would be the beginning of greater political dialogue with NATO.

Closer cooperation

Pakistan and NATO have been steadily increasing cooperation since October 2005, when NATO launched a large operation to help aid victims of the devastating earthquake that struck the country.

The Alliance has opened several courses at NATO education facilities to Pakistani officers and Pakistani, Afghan and NATO authorities are working together in a joint commission on military and security issues in Afghanistan.

Recently, a joint Afghan, ISAF and Pakistani intelligence centre was opened in Kabul.

The Prime Minister is the most senior Pakistani official to visit NATO to date.