14 May 2012 / SİNEM CENGİZ, ANKARA - todayszaman.com
Parliament last week approved a protocol concerning the training of Afghan and Pakistani military personnel.
The governments of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan, emphasizing their desire to improve relations and cooperation in the field of security, signed the protocol on mutual exercises and training courses of military personnel in İstanbul on Nov. 1, 2011, with Law No. 3119.
The protocol was published in the Official Gazette on May 10, 2012.
According to Article 1 of the protocol, the purpose of the protocol is to promote mutual relations and cooperation between the military of the three countries, and to enhance such cooperation in the areas of exercises and training courses.
The protocol binds military personnel, members of the armed forces from all three countries, to take part in further training and cooperation.
Article 4 of the protocol states that the three countries should cooperate in various fields, including combined special forces exercises, counterterrorism courses, combined natural disaster search and rescue exercises, tactical operation courses for dealing with improvised explosive devices, military training and capacity building as well as mid and high-level seminars on various other topics.
According to Article 8, the protocol does not affect the rights and responsibilities arising from any other international agreements that the three countries may have previously concluded.
The protocol was signed by Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Necdet Özel, and Afghan Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi on the conclusion of a trilateral summit hosted by Turkish President Abdullah Gül in İstanbul on Nov. 1, 2011, which was organized to reduce tensions between the two neighboring countries.
President Gül told reporters last November that Pakistan and Afghanistan had agreed to establish a joint mechanism for investigating the assassination of High Peace Council chief and former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, in order to establish the truth of what happened. The Turkish president said terrorism remained a key challenge and hurdle to peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The trilateral summit between Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan came at a “critical” time due to the increasing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan said last November that they hoped the trilateral summit between the two countries and Turkey would lead to a reduction of recently inflamed tensions.
Afghan-Pakistani relations remain strained after both accused the other of supporting terrorist attacks and activities in their respective countries. Afghanistan also has accused the Pakistani intelligence agency of involvement in the recent assassination of Rabbani. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, calling the trilateral summit a significant move in the right direction, said: “The unfortunate assassination of Rabbani has thrown the entire [peace] exercise into difficulty. It was almost the end of negotiations.”