LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Sunday that Pakistan had very clear policy on Afghanistan, and that was that it wanted stability and peace in the neighbouring country.
Talking to the media after offering condolences to Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, editor of Daily Pakistan, over the death of his elder brother here at his residence, he said Pakistan would support an inclusive government in Afghanistan. As far as the recognition of Taliban authorities was concerned, Pakistan did not want to take a unilateral decision, and it would go along with the regional countries and other global powers.
The federal information minister said that General Faiz Hameed is not the first intelligence chief, who visited Kabul. According to the media reports, the intelligence chiefs of the USA, Turkey and Qatar also visited Kabul, he said adding that the intelligence agencies had their own working style. Any situation in Afghanistan would have deep impact on Pakistan, because it has strategic, political, social and economic relations with the neighbouring country, so we cannot ignore Afghanistan, he added.
Currently, there is a political vacuum in Afghanistan and no government is in place there. In such a situation, the intelligence relations are used to remove each other's reservations and bring the two sides to dialogue to establish good relations. The Indian media's hue and cry and propaganda over the issue was the outcome of its sheer disappointment with the Afghanistan situation.
Fawad Ch said that Pakistan's policy over Afghanistan was not different from that of the world. He said Pakistan had long been calling for a political solution to Afghanistan, but the US president and other global community realised it today by calling for the same solution. "Yes, the difference is that Pakistan has been giving this suggestion before the country had not suffered huge losses, but the US and other countries suggested that solution after heavy losses had already been inflicted on that country," he added.
The minister said it was also Pakistan's policy that it could not abandon the common Afghans. "Their lives are as important for us as the lives of those evacuated from Afghanistan.
"We have provided complete help in the evacuation process, and in this regard, we are helping foreigners and the media persons, who are stuck in Kabul, and we will continue with this effort," added Fawad Chaudhry. "The contribution Pakistan has made for evacuations is immense and we will continue that. To us, both sections of Afghan people, who want to leave Kabul, and those left behind, are important to us.
"We want the world to get engaged with Taliban authorities, so that both sections can be taken care of. Today, our borders are open, our air border is open," he added.
The information minister said that leaving the common Afghan people alone would lead to instability in the neighbouring country and that vacuum was not in the interest of the world. He said that recently foreign ministers of the UK and Germany visited Pakistan, while Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also talked to a number of leaders of other countries over Afghanistan. Pakistan's viewpoint is that the international community should not leave Afghanistan alone, and maintain a constant liaison with the Afghan authorities, so that such a government is brought in Afghanistan which should have representation of all its ethnic and other groups. India's criticisms and objections over these efforts of Pakistan was beyond comprehension, he said and added that although India had nothing to do with Afghanistan, the Indian media had been portraying the things in a manner that Afghanistan was a burning issue for their country. Whenever India had been given a role in Afghanistan, with which it did not share a single inch of border, it used the Afghan soil for committing terrorism in Pakistan. "We will not let India to use the Afghanistan land for terrorism against Pakistan," he warned.
Fawad Ch said that 92-year-old great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani is still the symbol of freedom. India was so much afraid of the valiant leader that even after his death, the Indian government did not allow his mass funeral prayers, the minister said adding that Narendra Modi, who is inspired by Hitler, and the Indian ruling party, were so cowered and scared of Geelani's funeral that they did not hand over his body to his heirs.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned this inhuman act of Indian government and desecration of the body of the veteran Hurriyat leader. The government and people of Pakistan also condemned this act of India, and "we once again remind our Kashmiri brethren that we stand like a rock behind you".
On the suggestion of Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, the information minister said that he proposed to set up a memento of Syed Ali Geelani on Srinagar Highway in Islamabad.
Regarding domestic politics, he said that the government had time and again tried to maintain relations with the opposition, citing that the government had contacted the opposition over electoral reforms, EVMs (electronic voting machines), appointments of the members of Election Commission and so on, but the opposition had not given any response so far.
Opposition leaders - Bilawal Bhutto, Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Maulana Fazlur Rehman - have different opinions and there were intra-opposition parties rifts also, said the minister. The PML-N is confused about its top leader to lead the party, and the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) also seemed in tatters, and that is why the government did not receive any serious response from the opposition parties so far, added the information minister.