Pakistan has stressed the need for close trilateral cooperation between Islamabad, Kabul and Beijing for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Addressing the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Foreign Minister said, “Therefore, we must consider how the three neighbouring countries can work together effectively to cope with this changing situation and can work and achieve the common goal of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.”
The trilateral forum was set up almost four years ago to discuss joint efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, promotion of security and counter-terrorism cooperation, and enhancing regional ties and meaningful economic development through meaningful projects.
Besides Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wáng Yì and Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar also attended the meeting.
The foreign minister said the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan posed “serious security challenges”, but provided a rare opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and an end to internal conflicts.
According to the US Senate, 44% of the evacuation has been completed since President Joe Biden announced in April that he would complete the evacuation by September 11 this year.
However, as the evacuation progresses, Afghan forces are finding it difficult to handle security issues due to a lack of motivation, a shortage of ammunition and poor quality of weapons.
The Taliban have seized several districts and military bases.
Pakistan fears that terrorists could take advantage of unorganized locations in Afghanistan and use them to intensify attacks. Another fear is that a large number of refugees could come to Pakistan if tensions escalate.
Pakistan has been urging all parties to reach a lasting political settlement to end the conflict, but neither Kabul nor the Taliban appear to be willing to negotiate such a settlement.
Emphasizing the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that this would result in a conducive environment that would bring the region together and deepen economic cooperation to develop its true potential, innovation. And interdependence will grow through the advancement of technology.
Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry during a weekly media briefing stressed Pakistan’s demand for a systematic and responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan so that there is no security vacuum left for terrorists to take advantage of.
“In addition, the withdrawal of US forces must be accompanied by overall progress in the peace process and we are in touch with all parties concerned,” he said.