FM Qureshi urges world to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace, stability

FM Qureshi urges world to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace, stability

Islamabad (Web Desk): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday urged the world community to stay engaged with Afghanistan for peace and stability in the war-torn country.

Addressing a joint news conference in Islamabad along with his German counterpart Heiko Maas after delegation level talks, FM Qureshi said that humanitarian assistance must flow and economic collapse of Afghanistan must not be allowed.

He warned against repeating mistakes of the past saying abandoning Afghanistan is not an option as it will have serious consequences.

“The world should remain vigilant of spoilers in Afghanistan,” FM Qureshi said, adding that the international community has to discern between those standing for peace and the spoilers.

“Pakistan has been hosting over three million Afghan refugees for decades,” Qureshi said adding that Pakistan has been providing them with education and health care facilities as well as livelihood opportunities.

He emphasized the need for creating such an environment in Afghanistan so that the need for another exodus does not arise again.

Commenting on the collapse of Ghani government, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said they were not speaking the truth on the actual situation in Afghanistan. He said Ashraf Ghani finally fled along with his aides and colleagues.

“Recent statements made by the Taliban are encouraging and positive,” FM Quresh said, urging that they will have to act on the pronouncements and respect the human rights and international norms.

In his remarks, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for playing a significant role in evacuation of foreign nationals including Germans from Kabul.

He said that Germany stands ready to support the neighboring countries of Afghanistan experiencing the impact of Afghan situation.

The German FM said his country will not abandon them in facing the challenges. He said that Germany has already provided 100 million euros in humanitarian assistance and 500 million euros have also been pledged for various projects in neighbouring countries of Afghanistan.

Heiko Maas said that Germany is closely coordinating with Pakistan on Afghan issue as well as bilateral relations.

As regards bilateral relations, FM Qureshi expressed the desire to further deepen relations with Germany in different fields.

“Both the countries have planned a number of activities to celebrate seventy years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” FM Qureshi said.

He pointed out that Germany has been an important investor in Pakistan and there are opportunities to further enhance trade and promote relations in the areas of renewable energy, Information Technology, Housing, electric vehicles etc.

“There are also opportunities for German investors in Special Economic Zones being established under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” Qureshi said.

FM Qureshi also expressed satisfaction over the defense cooperation between the two countries.