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Pakistan changes stance over US withdrawal from Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: Pakistani government announced that it would support a responsible US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Zahid Chaudhri, spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry told a press conference in Islamabad that a hasty exit of international forces from Afghanistan would give opportunity to those who seek to sabotage the peace process. There have been some progresses in peace negotiations that are needed to be preserved and further emboldened, Chaudhri said, without providing further clarification on the progresses.

The recent remarks show a change in Islamabad’s stance regarding the international troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In January, Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmmod Qureshi said that the U.S should keep continuing withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.

The withdrawal was agreed in a peace deal signed between the U.S and Taliban on February 29, 2020. In return the Taliban are asked to cut ties with terrorist groups particularly al-Qaeda.

Jennifer Psaki, the White House Press Secretary had said earlier that President Joe Biden was mulling over whether to pull out the forces by May1.  But the Taliban has been insisting on meeting the deadline by the U.S for troops pull out.

Mohammad Naeem Wardak, the Taliban spokesman in Qatar, where the insurgents maintain a political office, has recently said that finding solution for the Afghanistan’s crisis depended on fulfillment of the agreement.

The Afghan government and its international partners urge the U.S to conduct a responsible withdrawal based on the realities on the ground. Last week, President Ashraf Ghani in gathering said that the international partners should guarantee peace and ending war in Afghanistan.

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