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Pakistan

Pakistan cannot be held responsible for crises in Afghanistan: Qureshi

  • Foreign minister says there is no military solution to years-long conflict
  • Blame game must stop, adds Qureshi as he addresses inaugural session of bilateral dialogue in Islamabad
Updated 14 Jun 2021

(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the crises in Afghanistan and will continue to play a positive role in the success of intra-Afghan peace talks.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Pak-Afghan Bilateral Dialogue in Islamabad on Monday, Qureshi said Pakistan's reconciliatory role and the agreement between the US and Taliban in Doha will help maintain peace in the region.

He maintained that Pakistan's efforts have been recognised internationally as part of the solution and not part of the problem.

The foreign minister highlighted that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict, adding that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the whole region.

Regarding the current situation in Afghanistan, he stated that the only way forward to ensure peace and security is a reduction in violence. He pointed out that both the Afghan government and the Taliban will have to demonstrate flexibility to reach a settlement.

Blame game must stop

Expressing concern over the statements of Afghanistan's vice-president and the National Security Adviser against Pakistan, he said the blame game must stop.

He said that there are spoilers inside and outside Afghanistan and both parties should be fully cognisant of their nefarious designs.

The FM mentioned that Pakistan does not interfere in the internal matters of Afghanistan.

The backdrop

In February 2020, a deal was struck between the United States and the Taliban in which it was agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from Afghan prisons before the commencement of peace talks.

On August 10, 2020, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a condition to move to peace talks. After negotiations, the Afghan government released the remaining Taliban prisoners, kicking off intra-Afghan peace talks.

The peace process began in Doha but was disrupted after violent incidents in Afghanistan. Later, United States President Joe Biden said that withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would be complete by September this year. The president cited "tactical reasons" for the delay, but clarified it is not the US government's intention to keep the troops for a long time in the war-torn country.

He said that US soldiers must leave Afghanistan in a safe and orderly manner.