World must stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace: FM Qureshi
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has urged the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace and stability.
Addressing a joint news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday along with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after delegation-level talks, the foreign minister said humanitarian assistance must flow and economic collapse of Afghanistan must not be allowed.
Qureshi warned against repeating mistakes of the past saying abandoning Afghanistan is not an option as it will have serious consequences.
“The world should remain vigilant of spoilers in Afghanistan, Qureshi warned adding that 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 said emphasizing over the need for creating such an environment in Afghanistan so that the need for another exodus does not arise again.
Commenting on the collapse of Ghani government, Shah Mehmood 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.
Qureshi said recent statements made by the Taliban are encouraging and positive.
“They [Taliban] will have to act on the pronouncements and respect the human rights and international norms,” he added.
The German foreign minister, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to Pakistan for playing a significant role in evacuation of foreign nationals including Germans from Kabul.
“Germany stands ready to support the neighboring countries of Afghanistan experiencing the impact of Afghan situation,” Heiko said adding that his country will not abandon them in facing the challenges.
“We have already provided one hundred million euros in humanitarian assistance and five hundred million euros have also been pledged for various projects in neighboring countries of Afghanistan,” he informed.
The foreign minister further stated that Germany was closely coordinating with Pakistan on Afghan issue as well as bilateral relations.
In regards to bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed the desire to further deepen relations with Germany in different fields.
“Both the countries have planned a number of activities to celebrate seventy years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” Qureshi said.
He pointed out that Germany has been an important investor in Pakistan and there are opportunities to further enhance trade and promote relations in the areas of renewable energy, information technology, housing, electric vehicles etc.
He said there were also opportunities for German investors in Special Economic Zones being established under the CPEC.
The foreign minister also expressed satisfaction over the defense cooperation between the two countries.
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