FM says working for inclusive interim arrangement in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said yesterday that Pakistan was working for an inclusive interim arrangement in Afghanistan which has “wider acceptability and broad-based representation”.

 Speaking at a news conference here, FM Qureshi said the Taliban had assured that Afghan soil would not be used against any country. “Pakistan is workings for an inclusive interim arrangement in Afghanistan which has wider acceptability and broad-based representation. Afghanistan has a number of ethnic groups and all ethnic groups are important,” Qureshi added.

 Asked if Pakistan is ready to accept the Taliban-run government in Afghanistan, Qureshi said that discussions are underway in Afghanistan between different groups. The former rulers have fled now. Ashraf Ghani is in the UAE and cabinet members have fled too. There is a vacuum now and we don’t want anyone to take its disadvantage. “We want to move towards peace,” he remarked.

 The FM said Pakistan was playing its full role for stability in the neighbouring country and 3,234 Pakistani and foreign nationals had been evacuated from Afghanistan. “A stable Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, was providing all possible assistance for safe evacuation of foreign nationals, diplomats, media persons, and members of International Non-Governmental Organisations from Afghanistan. “Pakistan embassy in Kabul is working round the clock and our embassy staff is in contact with the Afghan people and the concerned officials to ensure security and safe transportation of people, who intend to go outside Afghanistan,” he said.

Qureshi discusses Afghanistan issue with KSA, Sweden

 The FM said so far 542 foreign nationals and 91 Pakistani citizens have been evacuated through five Pakistan International Airlines flights. In addition to that, he said, Pakistan had granted 56 permissions of over flights, including landing facility to various international airlines, which conducted around 133 sorties.

 He said Pakistan was trying to facilitate movement of evacuees and a facilitation centre has been established at Islamabad Airport; besides, setting up a Crisis Cell at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this purpose.

 “Pakistan is also granting on arrival visas to foreign nationals and so far 409 people have benefited of this facility,” the FM said and added that situation in Kabul is quite and calm, but certainly there is a pressure around the Kabul Airport.

 The minister said he talked to foreign ministers of various countries, including Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, who appreciated Pakistan’s role for peace in Afghanistan and safe evacuation of foreign nationals from there.

 “I also briefed the Secretary General of OIC and the foreign minister of the European Union about the evolving situation in Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan has also assured Saudi Arabia for all possible assistance and facilitation in relocation of its embassy from Kabul to Islamabad for the time being,” he elaborated.

 He said Pakistan expected that the new leadership in Afghanistan will evolve and assume responsibility. It would keep an eye on not just the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan but all terrorist organisations because “we don’t want Afghanistan to become a safe haven for any terrorist organisation.” He added: “We are aware that the TTP is using the Afghan soil against Pakistan.”

 He said the TTP leaders are wanted in different crimes in Pakistan and this includes terror charges too. “Pakistan has a good opinion of Afghan nationals and they should think about Pakistan too. Our concerns are genuine and our expectations are also natural. They should give up what they have been doing,” he said.

 Responding to a question, the FM said the entire world wanted peace in Afghanistan, but it is unfortunate that India was playing the role of a spoiler in this regard. He said India and the Indian media should demonstrate a responsible approach towards peace in Afghanistan.

 Qureshi said he was planning to visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran to get the stance of Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours on common issues like refugees, trade, and challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.

 Earlier, in a statement, Qureshi said Pakistan desires a better future for Afghanistan and supports a conducive environment to help the Afghan people achieve the goals of development and prosperity. He stressed that international community must restore ties with Afghanistan for the betterment of its people.

 The foreign minister stressed that the protection of the lives of the people in Afghanistan and the sanctity of human rights was of utmost importance. He said Pakistan was not focusing on negotiating with a particular group in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

Pakistan yesterday discussed the Afghanistan issue with Saudi Arabia and Sweden as the whole world looks up to Islamabad to play a key role to resolve the impasse.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had a telephone conversation with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. The two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the latest situation in Afghanistan and also discussed a number of issues of bilateral importance.

The Foreign Minister underlined that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region. In this perspective, he expressed the hope that Afghan parties would work for an inclusive political settlement to ensure sustainable peace and security in the country and the region. Qureshi stressed the importance of international community’s active and sustained engagement with the Afghan people.

He also apprised his Saudi counterpart of Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the evacuation of personnel and staff of diplomatic missions, international organizations, media and others from Afghanistan.

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 2021.

Later, Qureshi received a telephone call from Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The Foreign Minister also apprised the Swedish Foreign Minister of Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister added that in the last few days he had been in touch with several European and other Foreign Ministers to exchange views on Afghanistan.

He underlined that no other country wanted a peaceful and stable Afghanistan more than Pakistan. He added that Pakistan had consistently advocated for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan as the best way forward and had been supporting efforts in that direction.

The Foreign Minister emphasized that the immediate priority was to ensure safety, security and protection of rights of all Afghans. He said that as a responsible member of the international community, Pakistan was fully facilitating several European countries, international organizations and media agencies to evacuate their nationals/employees and others from Afghanistan. Pakistan’s efforts have been widely acknowledged.

Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the importance of international community’s sustained engagement with Afghanistan.

Both the Foreign Ministers expressed the resolve further to strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres especially in trade, education and innovation. The Foreign Minister extended an invitation to his Swedish counterpart to visit Pakistan at an appropriate time.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More