Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Reaffirms Pakistan being a Partner in Afghan Peace
24 August 2021,
Pakistan declares that it will play a supportive role in ensuring that all people live in peace and security as a partner in peace and stability for Afghanistan in its future “interim arrangement,” which has wider acceptance.
“Every foreign minister with whom I have spoken has stated that Pakistan’s contribution is critical and valuable. All of their points of view concur with ours. They want Pakistan to play a role in ensuring the inclusiveness of the interim agreement in Kabul. This would be acceptable to the Afghans and the international community. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated at a press conference at the Foreign Office, “We are among the five embassies that are still operational.”
He stated that the situation in Kabul was normal and calm, but that the media, particularly the international media, was focused solely on Kabul airport, where a massive evacuation was taking place. He claimed that when the previous government left the country, the resulting void should have been filled, leaving no room for anyone to profit from the situation.
Talks are ongoing between the Taliban and all political parties and groups in Panjshir, including the Northern Alliance, but Panjshir remains a challenge. “Pakistan desires a smooth transition that is beneficial to all, with a focus on the people of Afghanistan.” We also hope that India will break free from its old mindset and seize the opportunity, particularly for trade, to join the rest of the world. They appear to be in mourning, and everything is quiet there. India should take responsibility, particularly their media, which reported that he had arrived in Kabul,” he added.
However, he was quick to point out that challenges remained and that it would not be easy because the trust deficit remained. In response to a question about the TTP, Qureshi stated unequivocally that the Taliban will not allow the TTP or other terror organisations to operate from their territory.
“Our concerns are genuine, and the Taliban’s expectations are understandable. We hope that the Kabul leadership that evolves and takes responsibility will keep a close eye on the TTP and other terrorist organisations and will not provide safe havens for them,” he said.
The foreign minister also stated that he had been in contact with several European and other foreign ministers in recent days to exchange views on Afghanistan. “He emphasized that no other country desired a peaceful and stable Afghanistan more than Pakistan. He went on to say that Pakistan had “consistently advocated for and supported efforts toward an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan as the best way forward.”
Foreign Minister Linde expressed her government’s heartfelt gratitude to Pakistan for its assistance in evacuating Swedish Embassy personnel and others from Kabul. Qureshi also spoke with his Saudi counterpart, thanking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the current Chair of the OIC Summit, for convening the OIC’s Extraordinary Meeting at the level of Permanent Representatives on August 22 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.