Former Afghan leaders responsible for current situation in their country: Qureshi

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaking is in London for a three-day official visit. Photo: AFP.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said that the former leaders of Afghanistan are to blame for the current situation there, Geo.tv reported Monday.

Qureshi’s remarks came during a working dinner organised by the Pakistan High Commission in  London, United Kingdom, on Sunday evening.   He is in London on a three-day official visit after the conclusion of his trip to New York where he attended the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 

Qureshi will have meetings with the chairman of the British Foreign Affairs Committee, members of the British Parliament, and his counterpart Elizabeth Truss at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office during the trip.

“Former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai — who held office from 2001 to 2014 — used to accuse Pakistan of interfering in his country’s matters,” Qureshi said.

The foreign minister added that because of the war in the country and the decision taken by the former leaders, the people of Afghanistan had to suffer for a long time.

“The people of Afghanistan are tired of war and only want peace and stability in their country,” he said.

Qureshi also turned  guns on Western countries for the situation in Afghanistan and said that “they are trying to make Pakistan a scapegoat.”

“[As opposed to the narrative of Western countries] Pakistan is not a safe haven for terrorists. Western media outlets should come here and see the situation for themselves,” Qureshi maintained.

He also spoke about the interim Taliban government in Afghanistan and said that both Pakistan and the United Kingdom are on the same page when it comes to the demand for an inclusive government in the country. 

“The United Kingdom supports the idea of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, and this exactly what Pakistan wants too,” the foreign minister said. “While the two countries may have different approaches to dealing with the situation, the goal is the same”, per Geo.tv.

Qureshi also talked about the probability of a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and urged Britain to contact the Taliban government to resolve the issue.

He warned that if the world isolates Afghanistan, then there will be a refugee problem and people will turn to Europe for help.

“Pakistan is ready to be at the centre of relief activities in Afghanistan and will extend all possible support to the people there,” said Qureshi. 

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