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Pakistan

Abandoning Afghanistan can result in civil war, economic collapse: FM Qureshi

  • Urges international community to not repeat the mistake made during the 1990s
Published September 1, 2021 Updated September 2, 2021

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday cautioned the Western nations of serious consequences if they abandoned Afghanistan, saying any such approach could result in a civil war and economic collapse in the country.

In an interview aired on Sky News, the foreign minister stressed the need to engage the Taliban.

“The disengagement will give space to the organisations we all dread,” he remarked.

Qureshi said the idea of disengagement is a dangerous option. “That’s an option of abandonment of Afghan people,” he said, adding such a mistake was also committed during the 90s.

Pakistan committed to inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan: NSC

He urged the international community not to repeat the same mistake again.

The United States has pulled all its troops out of Afghanistan, ending its longest war to cries of shame at home and celebratory gunfire from its victorious Taliban enemies in Kabul.

The last of the American troops overseeing a desperate evacuation effort flew out of Kabul airport on Monday night, completing a withdrawal that has raised deep questions about the United States' status as a superpower.

To a question regarding the withdrawal, Qureshi said that concerns were not addressed as the departure process was neither responsible nor orderly.

Pakistan has nothing to gain from an unstable Afghanistan: FM Qureshi

He stated that Pakistan was persistently stressing that the peace process and the withdrawal of foreign forces should be carried out simultaneously.

Earlier this month, Qureshi said that Pakistan wanted a responsible and orderly withdrawal. “It means that when you are withdrawing, leave in a manner that there is no vacuum left. If there is a vacuum, only militants will fill it.

“The actual beneficiaries of the vacuum will be the terrorist organizations,” he added.

When asked about the possibility of the Taliban’s fulfilling their commitments made with the international community, the foreign minister said the initial statements from the Taliban leadership are “positive and encouraging".

Qureshi expressed the hope that the Taliban would act responsibly. “They should have learned from their mistakes,” he said.

"I think the attitude and the approach they are taking is reflective of a different approach.

“If they’re sensible, they should, in my view, respect the international opinion and international norms,” the foreign minister added.

The minister opined that Afghans would need humanitarian and financial assistance, otherwise, there would be an economic collapse.

End of a 20-year war

To a question regarding Pakistan’s alleged support for the Taliban, Qureshi said these are mere baseless allegations.

The foreign minister argued that prior to the takeover, the Taliban were not only present in Afghanistan, but were also leading Doha peace talks and controlled forty to forty-five percent of the country.

Meanwhile, in the US, president Joe Biden has come under fire for a hasty and unilateral withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

However, Biden has strongly defended his decision to pull US military forces out of Afghanistan, saying the Afghan people must decide their own future, rather than sacrificing another generation of Americans in an unwinnable war.

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