Stresses ‘inclusive political settlement, principle of non-interference’ in Afghanistan
Staff Reporter Islamabad
An emergency meeting of the National Security Committee on Monday, convened to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of Kabul, emphasised that Pakistan remains “committed to an inclusive political settlement” in the neighbouring war-torn country.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by senior cabinet members and chiefs of the armed forces, also decided that “the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan must be adhered to,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The meeting’s attendants were informed of the latest developments in Afghanistan and their possible impact on Pakistan as well as the South Asian region, according to the statement.
The participants of the meeting reaffirmed that Pakistan would “continue to work with the international community and all Afghan stakeholders to facilitate an inclusive political settlement”, terming it as “the way forward” for the representation of all Afghan ethnic groups.
The National Security Committee observed that “major violence had been averted” so far during the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul and urged all parties in Afghanistan to “respect the rule of law, protect fundamental human rights of all Afghans, and ensure that Afghan soil is not used by any terrorist organisation/group against any country”.
The meeting stressed that the international community “must recognise the sacrifices made by Pakistan” over the last four decades, adding that Pakistan was also a victim of the conflict in Afghanistan and wanted peace and stability in the region.
The meeting also reiterated that there was never a military solution to the Afghanistan conflict. “The ideal time to end the conflict through negotiations might have been when the US/Nato troops were at maximum military strength in Afghanistan.
Continuation of foreign military presence for a longer duration now would not have yielded a different outcome,” the meeting noted, according to the PMO statement.
Therefore, US President Joe Biden’s administration’s endorsement of the decision made during the Donald Trump presidency was “indeed a logical conclusion to this conflict”, the meeting said.
“It is now time for the international community to work together to ensure an inclusive political settlement for long-term peace, security and development of Afghanistan [and] the region,” it added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran lauded the ongoing efforts of the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul, and ordered the repatriation of Pakistani citizens, diplomats, journalists and staff of international organisations operating in Afghanistan.