Pakistan-Afghanistan must coexist- can’t contribute to humanitarian crisis: Qureshi

Muhammad Asad

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan must coexist being first door neighbors and Pakistan can not contribute to a humanitarian crisis by severing ties with the neighboring Afghanistan. It was shared by the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a joint press conference with British Secretary of State Dominic Raab after delegation level talks between the two counterparts in Islamabad on Friday.

Qureshi was of the view that Pakistan is not recognizing the Taliban government at movement and will observe the future discourse of the Taliban government.

He said, Pakistan will continue its engagement with the Taliban, because severing ties with future Afghan government would contribute to the looming economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

According to Qureshi, Pakistan needs to adopt a realistic approach toward future government in Afghanistan, because landlocked Afghanistan needs continuous supply of essential commodities, medicines, and humanitarian assistance during coming days otherwise it can hit a looming humanitarian crisis in the future. While standing for the British Secretary of State, Qureshi said that it is a compulsion of Pakistan to engage with the Afghan ruler, because of the people of Afghanistan, who have suffered a lot over the last forty years due to war in Afghanistan.

Qureshi noted that the people of Afghanistan deserve Peace and Taliban must be given a chance if they succeed to form an inclusive and broad-based political government in the country which can lead the Afghans to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future.

Foreign Minister Qureshi informed the media, that he had talked with the British Secretary of State regarding the issue of Pakistan’s inclusion in British red list regarding the coronavirus restrictions and the steps needed to move Pakistan to the Amber list. Qureshi said, that SAPM on health, Dr. Faisal Sultan meeting with British health authorities has been arranged on Monday to apprise them on Pakistan’s point of view and strategy to combat the pandemic over the recent months.

Qureshi further said that he also talked with British Secretary of State regarding Pakistan’s steps taken to get out of FATF’s grey list including legislative, administrative, and financial measures to strengthen its regime. Qureshi said that he has informed the Secretary Raab about ongoing atrocities being committed by the Indian Security Forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Qureshi informed Raab that India has denied the decent burial of great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani by force, which is the violations of basic human rights.
British Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, talked to the journalists during the joint news conference and thanked the government of Pakistan for its substantial cooperation in the evacuation of 15,000 British nationals from Afghanistan.

While shedding light on future relationship with Taliban government in Afghanistan, British Secretary of State said that UK is not considering recognition of Taliban government and would follow the wait and see strategy of several other nations of the world. Raab said that the evacuation of 15,000 British nationals from Afghanistan was not possible without some sort of cooperation from Taliban.

Secretary of State Dominic Raab told the media, that Britain wants to maintain some contacts with Taliban and will continue humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in future as it has been providing during the past.

According to Raab, UK wants to see a stable Afghanistan and would continue to help Afghanistan’s neighboring countries including Pakistan.

While talking about Pakistan’s inclusion in UK’s red list, Raab said that it is a technical issue and Dr. Faisal Sultan would negotiate with UK’s team in this regard.

He noted that UK would be able to decide the issue of red list after bilateral negotiations on technical grounds. While commenting about the situation in IIOJK, British Secretary of State said that UK’s position on Kashmir issue is stated and it does not impose its solution to the Kashmir dispute, however UK has been urging New Delhi and Islamabad to initiate dialogue to pursue an amicable solution to the longstanding issue of the region.

British Secretary of State Dominic Raab along with a high-level British delegation is currently on a two-day visit to Pakistan. After delegation level talks with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad, Raab is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his stay in Islamabad.