Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has appreciated the Afghan Taliban for including representatives of various ethnicities living in Afghanistan, calling on the world to not abandon the country at this critical juncture. 

Interacting with international media representatives during a meet organised by Foreign Press Association in New York on Tuesday, Qureshi said “as per my information, the government in Afghanistan is expanding and other ethnicities are also being included in it.”

He said “if this report is true, then they are moving towards collectivism and inclusivity, which is the right direction. The international community is talking about a comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.”

The foreign minister said the international community wanted to make sure that terrorist groups would have no place in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taliban had also announced that they would not allow the Afghan territory to be used against any country, he added.

“We expect the Taliban to live up to their promises responsibly,” Qureshi continued.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month, the international community has warned it will judge them by their actions, and that the recognition of a Taliban-led government would be linked to the treatment of women and minorities.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said it was the right decision by the US to withdraw their forces after they achieved their “goals” as declared by President Joe Biden.

“All neighbours of Afghanistan, including Pakistan, want peace in the war torn country,” said Qureshi, and added that responsible behaviour from the Taliban government was in its own interest. 

Qureshi said the Taliban’s announcements of an end to war, respect for human rights and amnesty are encouraging. “Hence the international community should not leave Afghans alone at this critical juncture,” maintained the foreign minister.

He pointed out that Afghan women can be seen protesting on the streets in viral videos on social media. “It was not possible 20 years ago. It is an indication that things are changing in Afghanistan,” he opined. 

Welcoming the apportionment of $1.2 billion in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in Geneva, he said unfreezing Afghans’ frozen assets will help lift the country out of a humanitarian crisis.

He also noted that Pakistan has been hosting more than three million Afghan refugees for the past four decades without the help of the international community.

He warned the world that if the situation in Afghanistan worsened, the risk of refugees’ influx would increase. 

“Pakistan cannot afford any more refugees,” he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan extended unrestricted help for the safe evacuation of diplomatic staff and citizens of different countries from Kabul but unfortunately, “our positive efforts were not appreciated.”

The foreign minister also said “India wants to create instability in Pakistan.

“India used Afghan territory against us, and we have presented its proof to the world,” he added.

“We want peace and stability in the region. But, in response to our desire for peace, India has taken unilateral steps in Kashmir on August 5, 2019 to aggravate the situation,” concluded Qureshi.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
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