Pakistan doesn’t support any group in Afghanistan: FO

The Nation  |  Aug 03, 2021

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday made it clear that it does not support any group in Afghanistan as the foreign forces withdraw from the war-torn country.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s remarks regarding IS and Taliban were misquoted. “It is regrettable that certain sections of the media have misquoted and twisted the Foreign Minister’s remarks about the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” he said.

In fact, he said, the foreign minister clearly spoke about consensus among the international community, the regional players and the Afghans themselves against the menace of terrorism.

“His remarks cannot be in anyway be misconstrued as advocacy for a particular side in the Afghan conflict. We have repeatedly stated that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan. We see all sides in the conflict as Afghans who need to decide about their future themselves. We will continue to play a constructive facilitation role in the Afghan peace process,” the spokesperson said.

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He added: “We would once again reiterate that right now all energies should be focused on finding an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Earlier, FM Qureshi was asked on reports of IS militants moving into Afghanistan at a news conference in Multan, to which he said: “If they are moving in from Iraq or Syria then it is the Afghanistan government’s responsibility to check it.”

The FM said neither the Afghan government nor the Taliban wanted an IS resurgence. The Afghan media, however, reported the statement as if FM Qureshi expected the Taliban, and not the Afghan government, to handle the situation.

Also yesterday, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri strongly condemned the unwarranted comments by former Canadian Minister Chris Alexander, making unfounded and misleading assertions about Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process.

Aamir Liaquat yells at traffic warden in Karachi In a tweet, Chaudhri said the matter has been taken up with the Canadian government, urging it to take steps to address this motivated and malicious smear campaign against Pakistan.

He said such gratuitous commentary is deplorable at the time when the world acknowledges what Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan have consistently maintained that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and also stressed an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

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