Afghan neighbours ‘realistic’ on Kabul situation: FM

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Qureshi in Dushanbe to attend SCO Foreign Ministers Council

Holds telephonic talk with Guterres, Dominic Raab

Staff Reporter 
Islamabad

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who recently concluded a four-nation tour of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, has said that Afghanistan’s neighbours were “fully aware” of the situation in Kabul and their approach towards the issue “was realistic”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the foreign minister detailed his findings after holding dialogues with regional leadership surrounding Afghanistan. “I had the opportunity to learn about their views on Afghanistan during my four-nation tour,” he said.

“The entire region will benefit if there is peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Qureshi said, adding that the Taliban leadership was also in contact with all the countries.

“The people of Afghanistan have been dealing with wars for decades and want peace. They are suffering for the mistakes made in the past. We need to learn from the mistakes made in the past so that they are not repeated.”

If there is a positive message coming from Afghanistan, it should be encouraged, Qureshi said, adding that isolating Afghanistan would be detrimental to all.

The minister said the world was “expressing confidence” in Pakistan, adding that the country’s role as a mediator in Afghanistan had also been praised.

“Pakistan is helping evacuate the diplomatic staff of several countries from Afghanistan,” he said. “Pakistan International Airlines has played an important role in this regard.”

Commenting on neighbouring India, he said that it was at the top of the list of “spoilers” in the region.

He said India was carrying out “negative activities” to harm Pakistan and was bent upon destroying peace in the region.

The minister denied that the border with Afghanistan had been closed, adding that only “border management measures” have been taken.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister during a telephonic conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday underscored that Pakistan will continue to play its constructive role in support of the efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He cautioned that worsening situation in Afghanistan would affect them all, saying that If Afghanistan was left alone, then everyone will suffer.

The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister appreciated the contribu-tion of the United Nations in addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The two leaders exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and efforts to promote peace and stabil-ity in the country.

Qureshi appreciated the contribution of the UN in addressing the humanitarian situation in Af-ghanistan and noted that it was imperative for the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan, including by supporting the Afghan people’s socio-economic and humanitarian needs.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the facilitation being provided by Pakistan to the international community in evacuation and relocation efforts. FM Qureshi reaffirmed that Pakistan will continue to assist the UN in all possi-ble ways.

The foreign minister said that peace and stability in Afghanistan would benefit the entire region. “Neighboring countries of Afghanistan were well aware of the situation there,” he added.

Antonio Guterres expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s role in facilitating the work and humanitarian mission of UN entities in Afghanistan.

He sought Pakistan’s continued support in that regard. The Foreign Minister assured the Secretary General of all possible support to the UN in the fulfilment of its mandate.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also received telephone call from Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom Dominic Raab and exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister underscored that safety, security, stability and protection of the rights of all Afghans are critically important.

The Foreign Minister said that it is essential for the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan to stabilize the situation and help the Afghan people economically and to continue providing humani-tarian assistance.

The UK Foreign Secretary shared UK’s perspective on the developments in Afghanistan and conveyed thanks for Pakistan’s support and facilitation in the evacuation efforts. The two ministers agreed to remain in close contact.

Strongly condemning the terrorist attack near the Kabul airport, in which so many precious lives were lost, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan was closely following the evolving situation in the country.

He underscored that safety, security, stability and protection of the rights of all Afghans were critically important. An inclusive political settlement was the best way forward, the foreign minister added.

Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace, FM Qureshi stated that Pakistan was in touch with regional and international partners.

In this context, he emphasized the vital importance of peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.

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