Peaceful Afghanistan ‘vitally important’ for Pakistan, region: PM

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was vitally important for Pakistan and the region. He stressed that at this pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history, it was important for the international community to remain in support and solidarity with the Afghan people.

The Prime Minister was talking to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who called on him here.

During the meeting views were exchanged on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan-Germany bilateral relations. The Prime Minister recalled his conversation with Chancellor Merkel, in which the two leaders had fruitful exchange of views on Afghanistan situation.

He underlined that urgent steps were needed to stabilize the security situation, address humanitarian needs, and ensure economic stability in Afghanistan. These would require sustained engagement with Afghanistan, he added.

The Prime Minister underscored that both Pakistan and Germany should work closely for the promotion of shared interests relating to regional peace and stability. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conveyed cordial greetings of Chancellor Merkel.

While sharing Germany’s viewpoint on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, he thanked Pakistan for its support and facilitation for Germany’s evacuation endeavours from Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Maas also highlighted the celebration of 70th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-Germany diplomatic relations during 2021. The two countries are holding a series of events to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.

Pakistan on Tuesday asked Germany and the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan to avert any humanitarian crisis and economic collapse of the conflict-hit country.

“This is a pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history. The international community must remain engaged,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, here at the Foreign Ministry.

Qureshi said Pakistan and Germany were closely coordinating on the Afghan issue as well as bilateral relations. The FMs earlier held talks. Foreign Minister Qureshi urged the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace and stability there.

He said humanitarian assistance must flow and economic collapse of Afghanistan must not be allowed.

The foreign minister warned against repeating mistakes of the past saying abandoning Afghanistan is not an option as it will have serious consequences.

Qureshi said the world should remain vigilant of spoilers in Afghanistan. He said the international community has to discern between those standing for peace and the spoilers.

The foreign minister said Pakistan has been hosting over three million Afghan refugees for decades. “We have been providing them with education and health care facilities as well as livelihood opportunities,” he added.

He emphasised the need for creating such an environment in Afghanistan so that the need for another exodus does not arise again.

On the collapse of Ghani government, FM Qureshi said they were not speaking the truth on the actual situation in Afghanistan. He said Ashraf Ghani finally fled along with his aides and colleagues.

He said recent statements made by the Taliban are encouraging and positive. He said they will have to act on the pronouncements and respect the human rights and international norms. He said both the countries had planned a number of activities to celebrate seventy years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

He pointed out that Germany had been an important investor in Pakistan and there are opportunities for German investors in Special Economic Zones being established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The foreign minister also expressed satisfaction over the defence cooperation between the two countries.

In his remarks, the German Foreign Minister Maas expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for playing a significant role in evacuation of foreign nationals including Germans from Kabul.

He said Germany stands ready to support the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, experiencing the impact of Afghan situation. He said his country will not abandon them in facing the challenges.

Maas said his country had already provided € 100 million in humanitarian assistance and €500 million had also been pledged for various projects in neighbouring countries of Afghanistan. He said Germany was closely coordinating with Pakistan on Afghan issue as well as bilateral relations.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Qureshi met with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations.

The foreign minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on evolving situation in Afghanistan. He stated that for Pakistan, the immediate neighbour who has suffered for 40 years from conflict and instability next door, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of vital importance.

He underlined that safety and security of Afghans and an inclusive political settlement would be important in this regard.

Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the need for international community to engage through positive messaging and constructive actions. He added that measures must be taken to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan, preserve peace, and preclude any mass exodus.

The foreign minister also apprised the German foreign minister of his recent visit to neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and his interaction with various foreign ministers.

The foreign minister added that Pakistan has been extending all possible support to foreign governments and International organisations in evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, nationals and others from Afghanistan.

In the context of bilateral relations, the foreign minister expressed satisfaction over growing cooperation in diverse fields. Stressing the high value Pakistan attached to its relations with Germany, the foreign minister underscored the resolve to comprehensively upgrade the overall relationship.

The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany. A range of events are envisaged by the two countries to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.

Earlier, the German foreign minister called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here and discussed with him the latest situation in Afghanistan

“Views were exchanged on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan-Germany bilateral relations”, an official statement said.

On the occasion, the prime minister underscored that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was vitally important for Pakistan and the region.

He stressed that at this pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history, it was important for the international community to remain in support and solidarity with the Afghan people, and added that these would require sustained engagement with Afghanistan,

He underscored that both Pakistan and Germany should work closely for the promotion of shared interests relating to regional peace and stability.

The prime minister recalled his conversation with Chancellor Merkel, in which the two leaders had a fruitful exchange of views on the Afghanistan situation.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conveyed cordial greetings of Chancellor Merkel. While sharing Germany’s viewpoint on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, he thanked for Pakistan’s support and facilitation for Germany’s evacuation endeavours from Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Maas also highlighted the celebration of the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-Germany diplomatic relations during 2021. The two countries are holding a series of events to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.



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