Peace in Afghanistan can be consolidated, if humanitarian crisis averted: Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi remarked on Wednesday that if a humanitarian crisis is prevented and economic stability is assured in Afghanistan then peace can be consolidated.
Qureshi observed in his opening remarks at the ministerial meeting of neighbours of Afghanistan.
At the start of the address, Qureshi thanked the ministers for their positive response to Pakistan’s proposal for a regional approach to the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s top diplomat told the minister’s that they were meeting at a “pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history”.
“The events of the past few weeks have catapulted our region to a global spotlight. How the situation evolves will have profound implications for Afghanistan, our region, and the world at large,” said Qureshi.
He, once again, repeated that no one was able to anticipate the swift takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, adding that “all previous assessments and predictions proved wrong”.
“Notwithstanding the un-anticipated and sudden nature of these developments, it is important to note that the much dreaded bloodshed has not occurred. The prospect of a protracted conflict and civil war seems to have been averted,” declared Pakistan foreign minister. However, the minister shared that the situation in Afghanistan still “remains complex and fluid”.
Pakistan’s top diplomat emphasised that to fulfil the common vision of an interconnected region, it is important that Afghanistan overcomes the “testing time and realise its full potential”.
In his address, Qureshi also shared Pakistan’s five key principles that it believes should guide Afghanistan’s neighbours.
Pakistan called everyone to affirm their “full support and solidarity” with the Afghan people. It also called for the reaffirmation of every country’s commitment to the “unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan”.
Another key principle that Qureshi shared was that countries should urge that Afghan issues should have Afghan solutions.
“Fourth, we must make clear that Afghan soil should not be allowed to be used against any country. Fifth, we must underscore the multi-ethnic nature of Afghan society and stress the importance of national reconciliation,” said Qureshi.
He also called on that there was a need to prevent a humanitarian crisis because of the recent events.
“If a humanitarian crisis is prevented and economic stability is assured, then peace can be consolidated and a mass exodus precluded. It cannot be stressed enough that this requires enhanced engagement of the international community, particularly at this pivotal juncture,” urged Qureshi.
Meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries
Pakistan is virtually hosting a “Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan issue among the neighboring countries of Afghanistan”.
The meeting is chaired by Foreign Minister Qureshi and was attended by China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The moot was called to review the “evolving situation in Afghanistan to address common challenges and realise emerging opportunities to ensure regional stability and prosperity”.
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