Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that irresponsible withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan may give benefit to militants and lead to unrest in the country.
Addressing a press conference, he called for a responsible and orderly withdrawal of the troops without leaving a vacuum for the militant element to play havoc and create a chaotic situation for the region.
He also expressed concern over the rising cases of violence in Afghanistan during the withdrawal process of U.S. and NATO forces.
FM Qureshi noted that the Afghan peace process is at a critical stage, and there is a dire need to find a broad-based and inclusive settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.
Underlining the sacrifices made by Pakistan due to unrest in Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan has been a victim of the war in the neighboring country.
“The price that we have paid has to be understood. We have had close to 80,000 casualties, we have suffered huge economic losses. The world should not be oblivious to that.”
The FM said that Pakistan had played its role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and now, it was up to the Afghan leadership to move the intra-Afghan dialogue process further.
Talking about Pakistan’s efforts for the Afghan peace process, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan “played an instrumental role in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table in 2019. Pakistan facilitated the conclusion of the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement in February 2020 in Doha.”
Stressing upon the international community to play its role to bring peace in Afghanistan, FM Qureshi said that the world should realize “peace and stability in Afghanistan is a shared responsibility and the international community cannot shy away from it and should play its role.”
He briefed the media that Pakistan is making sure to check on people coming in and going out from Pakistan through the Afghan border while it has completed 98 percent of border fencing.