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MoFA holds regional seminar on counterterrorism

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By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Monday organized a day long regional seminar on counterterrorism and extremism in the “Heart of Asia” in Kabul.

The seminar titled “Regional Seminar on Counter Terrorism and Extremism in the Heart of Asia” was aimed to boost up regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and the region.

The seminar was attended by regional experts, representatives of the Heart of Asia countries, Afghan researchers, professors and members of the civil society organizations to discuss challenges and outgoing ways in order to bolster cooperation against terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and the region.

Deputy Foreign Minister, Nasir Ahmad Andisha, said that the seminar is aimed to study different dimensions of terrorism and extremism and ways to fight this phenomenon.

Speaking at the seminar here he said that extremism has become a major challenge, so the partner countries seek how to foster Ulema and civil society’s role and regional cooperation in order to eliminate extremism.

Terrorism and extremism are the challenges that are not faced only by a few countries, but probably will change geographically— from one country to another—and it would cause destruction in the entire region, he added.

He said the Afghan representative in the UN session stressed that financial sources of the extremists must be cut in the region; otherwise, fighting terrorism is impossible.

He highlighted that this seminar is a pre-session for discussion of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process with objectives to enhance political and security cooperation at the regional level—inside and outside  Afghanistan, because Afghanistan’s stability affects the region.

The next Heart of Asia conference will be held in Pakistan on December 9.

Member of High Peace Council, Abdul Hakim Mujahid, said that terrorism and extremism is a threat for governments and people in the region, and the extremists are committing violence to gain power and position.

He said that extremism has no place in Islam because Islam is the religion of peace.

“In order to fight terrorism and reach democracy, we must fight extremism through intellectuals. Huge mobilization is required for fighting extremism and it shall not be limited to a specific area. It shall be for entire region,” he asserted.

Shrinivas Rao Sohoni, an Indian analyst, said that terrorists are using technology and social media to change public intellectually. “So, we must use the same technique to fight them.”

Terrorist and extremist groups are misusing the name of Islam, he said while suggesting that it is imperative to seek ways to help people to detect extremism.

“We are responsible to bring awareness among people and open their minds about terrorism and extremism,” he said.

He added that real face of Islam should be shown to people through media and modern technologies in order to overcome this issue.