Pakistan reacts to Biden’s plan to pull US troops from Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it supports the principle of responsible US troops’ withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stake-holders.

The Foreign Office said in a statement in response to the statement of U.S. President Joe Biden announcing that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan will start on 1 May 2021 and will be completed by 11 September 2021.

“We also hope the U.S. will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan,” FO Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in the statement.

Pakistan has been consistently supporting and facilitating the efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“We believe there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is important for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Towards this end, the U.S.-Taliban Agreement of 29 February 2020 laid foundation for a comprehensive intra-Afghan peace agreement including a permanent ceasefire for bringing an end to violence in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“In our view, it is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress in the peace process. We hope that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress towards a negotiated political settlement.

“Pakistan has consistently reiterated that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in our interest. Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan,” it added.

A meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in the post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability. Pakistan believes that another key feature in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan should be a time-bound and well-resourced plan for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan.

Pakistan will continue to work together with the international community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/blinken-in-afghanistan-to-sell-biden-troop-withdrawal/