Islamabad wants more weapons from Germany for its war against terror, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has said. Asif met with his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen, who is visiting the country.
Pakistan needed "above all, weapons of a defensive nature, and weapons useful for the war against terror," Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said during von der Leyen's visit. For her part, the German defense minister confirmed that her government was looking into closer military cooperation with Pakistan.
"Together, we will chalk out how we can intensify our cooperation in the war against terror ... We are together with Pakistan in the war against terrorism," Von der Leyen said in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Asif said the current conflict was all about fighting against all Islamist movements, ranging from the so-called "Islamic State" to the Taliban. "These are all heads of the same monster," Khawaja Asif said. Terrorism needed to be countered on the whole, Asif said, referring to Germany and Pakistan's first agreement to further military cooperation in 2012.
A central theme during von der Leyen's visit was also the precarious security situation in Afghanistan, which she visited before her trip to Islamabad. "We all know that this region will be peaceful only when everyone deals with the reconciliation process and the war against terror," she said.
The German defense minister also said it was a positive sign that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were inaugurating an international conference in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Better relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are believed to be a key requirement for reconciliatory talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which are being mediated by the Pakistani government. Afghanistan accused its neighbor of using the Taliban to increase its influence within Kabul's territory.
However, Pakistan has also been the target of several attacks, including one last December, when more than 150 people, mostly children, were killed after Taliban militants attacked an army school in Peshawar.
mg/jr (AFP, AP)