- Army chief says Pakistan supports an all-inclusive Afghan government
Discussing the current situation in Afghanistan, the UK and Pakistan have agreed to work together to support stability in the war-torn country and stop it from becoming a haven for terrorism.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan and discussed the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, regional stability, among other issues.
Following his meeting, Raab took to his Twitter handle and said that he had a "good discussion with the COAS".
"We agreed that the UK and Pakistan should work together to stop Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorism and support stability in the region," he tweeted.
In a separate statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the army chief reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to making all-out efforts to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and supports an all-inclusive Afghan government.
The statement continued that both leaders reiterated the desire to further enhance bilateral relations, while the foreign secretary pledged to play UK's role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.
Raab arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to discuss how the two countries can work closely together on the situation in Afghanistan. He also held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday.
During their meeting, the PM underlined the importance of a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and regional stability.
"The Prime Minister noted that it was critical to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan, take steps to consolidate peace, and preclude any mass exodus," a statement by the PM Office said.
The statement further said that the PM cautioned against the role of “spoilers”, both inside and outside Afghanistan, which could destabilize the situation.
Earlier, Raab and Qureshi held a joint press conference following a meeting focused on securing a safe passage for those leaving Afghanistan, and regional stability.
"The basis for the UK-Pakistan relationship is very strong and the UK has the desire to take it to the next level," Raab said in his address.
"We also have a very clear and shared interest in the future of Afghanistan. We will judge the Taliban by their actions, not their words."
Talking about Pakistan's placement in UK's travel red list, Raab said he understood the impact of the issue on British and Pakistani nationals but noted that the UK based its decisions on scientific and technical evidence.
"I also commend the efforts of the government of Pakistan to contain the pandemic [...] we understand this is a sensitive and difficult issue.
"We want to find a way through. No one wants Pakistan off the red list more than I do but we make these decisions on a technical level. I think the smart thing for us to do is to work together to enable that to happen as soon, as safely, and as responsibly as can be done," he said.