Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that it is “incumbent on the Afghan leadership to use this historic opportunity to pave the way for an inclusive and comprehensive political solution in Afghanistan.”

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad, the foreign minister stated this after a meeting with a delegation of Afghan leaders in the capital on Monday.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Qureshi welcomed the delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed the situation in Afghanistan which is gripped by panic following the Taliban takeover of Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country.

“We hope that all Afghan leaders will make efforts [for peace] in the larger interest of the country,” the foreign minister said, adding that Pakistan was determined to play a constructive and facilitative role for the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

According to the statement, Qureshi said, “It is necessary that we work together to devise a plan of action for the betterment of Afghanistan and the region.”

“Our aim is [to work for a] peaceful, united, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan,” he said, expressing the hope that both the parties would work together to take the process of peace and rapprochement forward in the war-torn country.

He reiterated that Pakistan saw “comprehensive dialogue” as the only way for a political solution in Afghanistan.

“We do not want [Afghanistan’s] neighbouring countries to face the effects of turmoil and chaos over there.”

Qureshi said that a keen eye would have to be kept on elements that were trying to distort the image of Pakistan, undermining its role in the negotiations in Afghanistan, which had been recognised internationally.

The international community clearly wanted to see peace and a process of rapprochement initiated in Afghanistan, he added.

He called for the international community to cooperate and provide economic assistance for making the situation better in Afghanistan.

Later, Foreign Minister Qureshi addressed a press conference, saying that the Afghan delegation comprised representatives from all ethnic groups residing in Afghanistan.

He said he presented Pakistan’s point of view in the meeting with the delegation and got the opportunity to understand the expectations the Afghan leaders had from Pakistan.

Qureshi said his meeting with the delegation was held at a crucial time, as it had been scheduled right before a National Security Committee meeting called by Prime Minister Imran Khan today (Monday) to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

He said that the foreign minister of Denmark had called him and requested for assistance in evacuating staff from the country’s embassy in Kabul.

“We have facilitated them and 380 people have reached Pakistan. From here, they will be sent to Copenhagen.”

He said Pakistan planned more flight to facilitate evacuation from Afghanistan.


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