Pakistan Doesn’t Have the Luxury to Disengage from Afghanistan: NSA


November 02, 2021


Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA), stated that while Western countries may have the luxury of withdrawing from Afghanistan, Pakistan does not.The NSA was speaking at a news conference in Islamabad following the signing of a Protocol on the Establishment of a Joint Security Commission by Pakistan and Uzbekistan, which was followed by the commission’s inaugural session.

During his speech, the NSA stated that Pakistan was sometimes chastised for being proactive in encouraging engagement with Afghanistan. “It may be a luxury for the Western world sitting 10,000 miles away [not to worry about Afghanistan], but we do not have any option to disengage from Afghanistan,” Yusuf explained. Yusuf said the international community needed to coordinate and engage constructively with the current Afghan government to avert a humanitarian crisis for the sake of the country’s people, warning that if this was not done, a worse situation could develop.He stated that Afghanistan has been at war for four decades, with direct consequences for Pakistan in terms of lives lost, economic losses, and an increase in terrorism.

“We are the most vulnerable victims of this [instability in Afghanistan], so when we talk about stability in Afghanistan, one [reason] is that it is the right of our Afghan brothers and sisters […] but it is also necessary for our national security that there is stability in Afghanistan and that continuous peace is established.”

“It is our right as Pakistanis to remind the world of this,” said the NSA.He reiterated that Pakistan’s engagement with Afghanistan was not a political issue, but rather a humanitarian and national security issue. Yusuf stated that Uzbekistan held the same position as Pakistan on the war-torn country, and that there was a lengthy discussion on the subject during today’s meeting.

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