Pakistan advises Afghan leaders to show wisdom – Press Release

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi gestures as he speaks. Photo: File
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi gestures as he speaks. Photo: File
  • Qureshi says evolving situation in Afghanistan to have far-reaching consequences for region, world. 
  • Says Kabul airport blast grim reminder that situation in Afghanistan is fragile. 
  • Qureshi says Pakistan needs to follow a carefully calibrated policy. 

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Thursday advised the Afghan leadership to show wisdom, as the Taliban move to announce their government in the restive country. 

The foreign minister was speaking at the 6th Think Tank Forum where he said the “momentous” events taking place in Afghanistan would have far-reaching consequences for the region and the world. 

He said the Afghanistan situation had presented Pakistan with an opportunity to achieve what it had been trying to do for so many years: ensuring a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The minister noted that Pakistan would have to follow a carefully calibrated policy to ensure that.

The foreign minister said the international coalition, over the past two decades, had pursued a military solution in the region. Qureshi said the approach failed because it was divorced from ground realities.

However, he admitted that the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan coupled with the absence of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement had created a crisis in the country.

More than ever, the situation demands Afghan leaders to exhibit wisdom, he added. Lack of resistance by the Afghan security forces and the speed of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul has surprised the international community, he noted.

Qureshi noted how the Kabul airport bomb blast was a grim reminder that the situation in the country was fragile, adding that Afghan leaders must demonstrate the wisdom to take the country forward. 

Qureshi tells Taliban to respect international opinion, norms

A few days ago, Qureshi had urged the Taliban to respect international opinion and norms, adding that if they are in power they would require assistance.

The foreign minister was speaking to Sky News. Qureshi had said he is of the view if the Taliban are in charge they will need humanitarian and financial assistance.

“Otherwise, we will see an economic collapse, and do we want to see an economic collapse? And if there is an economic collapse, look at the repercussions, look at the consequences that would lead to.”

The foreign minister had said that the international community has to weigh its options now. The first option is engagement, as opposed to isolation.

Of isolation, he had said: “It’s a dangerous option. That’s an option of abandonment, of Afghan people. Of people. I’m talking of the people.”

“That’s the mistake that was committed in the 90s. I would urge the international community not to repeat the same mistake again,” he said, adding that if this happens “it could lead to a civil war, things could become chaotic, there could be anarchy”.

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