Observer Report Dushanbe
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday stressed upon the Afghan leaders to achieve a “nego-tiated political set-tlement at the ear-liest” as US forces withdraw from the country, saying such a measure would bring peace, stability and pros-perity in Afghani-stan.
In a meeting with his Afghan coun-terpart Haneef At-mar on the sidelines of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Dushanbe, Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s “consis-tent support” to a peaceful and united Afghanistan, which is at peace with it-self and its neighbours, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
The foreign minis-ter remarked that Afghan leaders should seize the current “historic opportunity” and take advantage of international con-vergence on the fi-nal settlement of the Afghan conflict by working together on an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.
Qureshi also ex-pressed concern over high levels of violence in Af-ghanistan which has resulted in the loss of many lives.
He emphasised the need to take imme-diate steps to de-crease violence, leading to a com-prehensive cease-fire.
Stressing that “negative state-ments” could not cloud Pakistan’s positive contribu-tion to the Afghan peace process and that “blame game will not serve the region,” the foreign minister urged his Afghan counterpart to address all con-cerns through
es-tablished institu-tional mechanisms, including the Af-ghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidar-ity.
He said Pakistan looked forward to hosting the review meeting of APAPPS in Is-lamabad at the ear-liest.
“Pakistan supports a peaceful and sta-ble Afghanistan, which would yield mutual dividends and benefits in terms of peace in the region, eco-nomic prosperity and regional con-nectivity,” he added, according to the FO.
In a tweet after the meeting, Qureshi said the path ahead was ultimately to be determined by Afghan leaders “from whom flexi-bility is essential to achieve a negoti-ated settlement and any blame games are detrimental to peace process”.
He added that nei-ther Pakistan nor the international community nor the people of Afghani-stan wished for “a repeat of civil war”.
The minister further said Pakistan and Afghanistan’s destinies were “in-ter-twined”.
“We believe work-ing together will help us realise stronger regional connectivity and greater people-centric linkages,” he wrote, adding that he looked for-ward to hosting his Afghan counterpart in Islamabad to continue the collec-tive efforts.