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Pakistan

Pak-Afghan soil will not be used against any country: Qureshi

  • Says the next couple of weeks and months are very important for the Afghan peace process
  • Urges Afghan leadership to find political solution to the conflict
Updated 16 Jun 2021

(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the Pak-Afghan soil will not be used for terrorism or against any country.

In a statement on Wednesday, Qureshi said leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan have reached an understanding to not let their soil be used against any country.

He added that Pakistan has been pursuing a clear policy that it will not allow anyone to use its land against Afghanistan or any other country and will play its role to secure peace in the region.

He maintained that Pakistan desires stability in the region and the world is appreciating Pakistan's efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

He mentioned that the next couple of weeks and months are very important with respect to the Afghan peace process.

The foreign minister highlighted that 50 percent of allied forces have been withdrawn from Afghanistan and the process is ongoing.

Qureshi urged the Afghan leadership to find a political solution to the Afghan issue. He said war and fighting have already caused a huge loss in Afghanistan.

Earlier, addressing the inaugural session of the Pak-Afghan Bilateral Dialogue, Qureshi said 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.

He stated 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.

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

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.

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