World asked to repair relations with Kabul

FM says Pakistan working for ‘broad-based’ Afghan set-up

Our Correspondent August 23, 2021



Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said Pakistan was working for an inclusive, broad-based arrangement in Afghanistan to further peace and stability in the neighbouring country.

“The views of the international community are in sync with the thinking of Pakistan on the present situation in Afghanistan,” said the minister while addressing a news conference.

Qureshi said he held conversations with a number of foreign ministers in previous days and they acknowledged that Pakistan was playing a vital and critical role in these challenging times.

The world was looking towards Pakistan and it wanted help in evacuating their nationals from Afghanistan, he said, adding very few embassies were working in Kabul and the Pakistani embassy was one of them.

"We are keeping an eye on the situation in Afghanistan," he said, adding the international community wanted Pakistan to promote an inclusive arrangement in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan had a number of ethnic groups which had a role to play, he explained.

In recent days the foreign minister had talked to the high representative of the European Union, foreign ministers of Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State of United States Antony Blinken, Secretary General Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) about the situation in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stressing the need for the international community to restore ties with Afghanistan for the betterment of its people, said that Pakistan only desired a better future for the Afghan people.

In a statement, Qureshi made it clear that Pakistan was not focusing on negotiating with a particular group in Afghanistan, adding: “Pakistan wanted a government in Afghanistan which is broad-based and inclusive.

Stressing the need for the international community to restore ties with Afghanistan for the betterment of its people, he said, Pakistan desired a better future for Afghanistan and supported a conducive environment to help Afghan people achieve the goal of development and prosperity.

Qureshi said he would visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran to consult with the leadership of the regional countries on the situation of Afghanistan. He warned against the anti-peace elements as “spoilers” who were still active and did not want a lasting peace in the country.

Meanwhile, Qureshi spoke with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and discussed with him the latest Afghan situation, the Foreign Office said in a statement. He underlined that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region.

Qureshi thanked Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit, for convening an extraordinary meeting of the Muslim bloc on Sunday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

During the telephonic conversation, the statement said, the foreign minister expressed hope that all the Afghan sides would work for “an inclusive political settlement” to ensure sustainable peace and security in their country and the region.

The statement added that the foreign minister also apprised his Saudi counterpart of Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the evacuation of personnel and staff of diplomatic missions, international organisations, media, and others from Afghanistan.

Read FM to undertake visit of regional countries

In the bilateral context, the two foreign ministers reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken during the visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister to Pakistan in July. Expressing satisfaction at the growing momentum in bilateral relations, they agreed to further strengthen their cooperation.

Qureshi also received a telephone call from Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde. During the conversation, he emphasised the international community’s sustained engagement with Afghanistan.

He said that he had been in touch with several European and other foreign ministers during the last few days on the Afghan situation.

“International community must show solidarity and support with the people of Afghanistan, both in the humanitarian arena and economic sustenance,” he added.

The foreign minister apprised Linde of the latest developments in Afghanistan. He said that as a responsible member of the international community, Pakistan was fully facilitating several European countries, international organisations, and media agencies to evacuate their nationals and employees and others from Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s efforts have been widely acknowledged,” the foreign minister told his Swedish counterpart. He emphasised that the immediate priority was to ensure safety, security, and protection of rights of all Afghans.


(With input from APP)


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