Pakistan believes it is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress of the peace process, and supports the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stakeholders, the Foreign Office (FO) said Thursday. A time-bound and well-resourced plan for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration into Afghanistan should be another key feature for lasting stability in Afghanistan, it added.
Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri was addressing media queries related to the United States President Joe Biden’s announcement to complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on September 11.
“Pakistan has been consistently supporting and facilitating the efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. We believe there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is important for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the US-Taliban agreement of February 29, 2020, laid the foundation for a comprehensive intra-Afghan peace agreement, including a permanent ceasefire, for bringing an end to violence in Afghanistan.
“In our view, it is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress in the peace process,” he said.
He added that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress towards a negotiated political settlement.
In this regard, we support the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stakeholders,” the spokesperson said. “We also hope the US will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan.”
The Foreign Office reiterated that stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest, and Pakistan has an abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan.
“A meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability,” the Foreign Office said. “Pakistan believes that another key feature in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan should be a time-bound and well-resourced plan for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan.”
Pakistan will continue to work together with the international community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, the spokesperson said.