Qureshi raises Afghan concerns with SCO members

Web DeskWeb Editor

14th Jul, 2021. 06:02 pm
Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday voiced concern over the unfolding situation in Afghanistan in the wake of withdrawal of the US and Nato troops and in the absence of a peace deal.

“A specter of chaos and escalated conflict looms large that would also give space to the spoilers who wish to see the reign of instability in Afghanistan and the region,” the foreign minister said, while addressing the meeting of the Council of SCO Foreign Ministers, in Dushanbe.

He underscored that the rise in violence in recent weeks has exacerbated an already volatile situation.

“We call upon all Afghan parties to engage constructively and work for a negotiated political solution,” Qureshi said, adding that stability and peace in Afghanistan has an intimate bearing on regional security in the SCO space.

“As a shared responsibility, Pakistan has played its part in facilitating the peace process, aimed at forging a comprehensive, broad-based and inclusive, negotiated political solution that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.”
“For its part, Pakistan has been and will always be a partner for peace. We stand ready to working with [the] SCO member states in reinforcing efforts for sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the foreign minister said.
Covid response Speaking about the coronavirus, the minister said the pandemic has also proved the significance of technology and digitalisation in amplifying the message and taking it to an ever-widening audience.

“We believe these are the new frontiers for [the] SCO member states in the post-Covid-19 economic climate that we must proactively encourage within the SCO space. We; therefore, support initiatives such as e-commerce, digital economies, sharing of experiences and practices in innovation and new technologies,” he added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also stressed that while in many aspects countries have turned a corner in tackling the pandemic, it is still not over.

“We now have to rebuild our economies and our ways of doing business in a new and innovative ways; to come together, even if socially distanced,” he said, maintaining that the challenges posed by the rising poverty and the resultant inequality in the midst of a global economic slump calls for common approaches and solutions.
“I believe the SCO family, led by shared principles of solidarity and mutual support, could be effective in combating the wide ranging effects of the Covid-19.”

Terrorism While stressing over the importance of capacity-building, Qureshi said that it was also essential to address the root causes of terrorism and extremism.

“Of equal concern for the maintenance of international peace and security is indiscriminate use of force in complete disregard to international humanitarian laws; unilateral approach to resolve longstanding international disputes; ban on media, internet and state sponsored terrorism against [the] people under illegal occupation,” he said, adding that these measures run counter to the shared objective of creating a regional environment of amity and cooperation and must be opposed at all costs.

“As [the] SCO members, we are bound together by the Shanghai spirit of cooperation and good neighborliness and have affirmed the centrality of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security. The need to reform the UN Security Council through consensus, making it more representative, democratic, effective and accountable is not a matter of choice but an imperative,” he added.

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