Qureshi: Pakistan will continue its support to Afghans for a negotiated interim govt

Muhammad Asad

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will continue its supportive role for formation of a peaceful and negotiated interim government in Afghanistan which represent all ethnic groups of the country. It was observed by the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while sharing Pakistan’s positive contribution in evacuation drive of foreign diplomats, citizens of other countries and officials of nongovernmental organizations from Afghanistan during a news conference in Islamabad on Monday.

According to Qureshi, there are enormous challenges in the way forward to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan and the international community must continue its contacts with Taliban in coming days so the shared objective of international community can be achieved in the country.

Qureshi observed that Taliban had demonstrated seriousness and maturity in their actions so far including complete pardon to their foes, reiteration of resolve to end the use of Afghan soil by the terrorist groups against neighboring states and other countries, negotiation for a consensus political settlement in the country etc. and time would decide about their ability to rule the country in future.

While responding to a media query regarding India’s response to current situation in Afghanistan, Qureshi said that Pakistan had been urging International community to be aware of the spoilers inside and out of Afghanistan and India has played the role of a spoiler in Afghanistan peace process so far.

According to him, the world has witnessed Indian discourse during recent days and the current silence and expression of unhappiness and grief over ongoing peaceful transition efforts are very apparent from policy statements and response of Indian government to these developments.

Qureshi also expressed dismay over irresponsible reporting of Indian media regarding his alleged visit of Kabul when he was busy in his official engagements in Islamabad on a day earlier.

Qureshi urged New Delhi to refrain from its previous role of a spoiler and play the role of a partner in peace because the peace and stability in Afghanistan equally important for India as for other countries of the region.

While answering a question regarding Pakistan US liaison on Afghanistan situation and absence of President Biden communication with Pakistan’s premier Imran Khan, Qureshi said that he and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had talked thrice during recent days regarding ongoing Afghan peace negotiations and current situation in the country.

He noted that currently Pakistan and US have complete consensus in their objectives in Afghanistan and both countries are working together for their shared interests.

According to him, President Biden aides including Secretary Blinken and Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad representing US in Afghanistan are fully involved with Pakistan than we should not wait for such call from the US.

Qureshi observed that Pakistan had supported Biden administration during hard time through its fact based and straight forward policy on Afghanistan.

While informing his engagement with Foreign Ministers of the various countries across the globe, Qureshi said that he had talked to various Foreign Ministers including European Union Foreign Policy Chief yesterday and appraised him about Pakistan’s support in ongoing negotiations in Kabul and evacuation drive from the country.

Qureshi informed the media men that he is going on a tour of all immediate neighboring states of Afghanistan including Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan in coming days.

He said that he talked with Foreign Minister and State Counselor of China via telephone on the situation in Afghanistan and both countries had similarity of views on the current situation and the way forward.

Qureshi said that Pakistan is a part of important forum of Troika plus along with USA, China and Russia and playing a very positive and constructive role in Afghanistan peace negotiation and future discourse.

Qureshi also informed the media about Pakistan efforts to facilitate the evacuation of foreign citizens, diplomats, officials of NGOs and World Bank after Taliban takeover of Kabul.

According to Qureshi, Pakistan established a two facilitation cells in Ministry of Interior and at Islamabad International Airport to help the stranded foreigners to get on arrival visas of Pakistan. According to him, these cells are working 24/7 since their establishment on August 16.

He said a monitoring cell was also working in Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 to help the foreign diplomats to resolve their issues regarding ongoing evacuation from Afghanistan.

According to Qureshi, Pakistan has evacuated 3234 citizens and diplomats of 8 9 Countries from Afghanistan including 323 Pakistanis, 292 World Bank officials and others.

He said that Pakistan is a responsible state and is a partner in peace and security in Afghanistan and world value Pakistan positive contribution at this crucial time.