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Pakistan

Situation in Afghanistan is bad and out of Pakistan's control: Moeed Yusuf

  • National Security Advisor says region's peace is conditional on peace in Afghanistan
  • While briefing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf stresses that United Nations Refugee Agency needs to establish camps for Afghan refugees
Published July 9, 2021
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National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf expressed concern over the worsening situation in Afghanistan, stating that it was "extremely bad and out of Pakistan's control".

In his briefing to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, he warned of the impending risk of an attack by the Tehreek-i-Taliban, who, he said, could potentially enter Pakistan disguised as refugees.

However, he denied the presence of the Taliban in Pakistan as of now, terming reports as "Indian propaganda", and adding that "India is financially facilitating the propaganda and agencies have even made arrests in this regard".

Yusuf stated that "the region's peace is conditional on peace in Afghanistan", adding that the Afghan government needs to improve relations with Pakistan, if it wanted to ensure peace in the war-torn country.

"I don't see the US offering a financial package to Afghanistan and in that case, only Pakistan can provide a trade route to the landlocked country," he said, stressing that the United Nations Refugee Agency needed to establish camps for Afghan refugees.

Earlier in the session, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman stated that there were concerns over the situation in Afghanistan and the worsening scenario in the neighbouring country posed "major threats" to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that power-sharing is a way to avoid civil war in Afghanistan.

Speaking during the meeting of the Senate's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said it is Pakistan's desire that Afghanistan does not plunge into civil war again.

He maintained that Pakistan wants a dignified return of Afghan refugees to be made part of the Afghan peace process.

Qureshi, Turkish FM discuss Afghan peace process

He also clarified that it is not within Pakistan's interests to strengthen the ranks of the Taliban, and categorically stated that the country will not favour any "Talibanization".

The foreign minister stated that "the comeback of TTP is not in Pakistan’s interest".

"We do not want Talibanization of our country,” said Qureshi in his remarks at the meeting.

Highlighting Pakistan's role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan, Qureshi added that after the Taliban refused to participate in the Istanbul Peace Process, Pakistan held a tripartite meeting with Afghanistan and Turkey.

The foreign minister also pointed out that Iran has an important role regarding Afghanistan which cannot be overlooked.

"Pakistan's relations with Iran have further strengthened. We are establishing border markets with Iran."

He highlighted the important role Turkey had in the Afghan peace process, and said that initiatives were taken under the banner of the Istanbul peace process.

Last month, 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.

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

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.

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