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Pakistan reiterates continued support for a political end to Afghan conflict

AT Monitoring Desk  

KABUL: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan would continue to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan through a political instead of a military solution to the conflict.

In his address at the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) Ministerial Conference in the Tajik capital, the foreign minister called for a united approach by regional countries to help restore prosperity of the Afghan people.

Qureshi termed the Heart of Asia Process an important platform to bring together partners and supporting countries who wanted to achieve the common goals of peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.

For Pakistan, he said, Afghanistan was an important neighbour and brotherly country with strong historical ties.

“Pakistan desires peace and development in Afghanistan more than any other nation,” he said.

He recalled the historic development of signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement in February 2020 and the positive role played by Pakistan in this regard.

The progress made so far has certainly provided a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to find a “negotiated, inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive solution” to the problem.

Qureshi said as part of the efforts to engage extensively with Afghan leaders, Pakistan consistently called for a constructive dialogue and engagement to achieve positive results.

“Our message to all is to carry forward this process through good faith, solid and fruitful dialogue,” he said.

The foreign minister said besides the historic opportunity, several challenges for the Afghan nation lied ahead and warned of the “spoilers inside and outside Afghanistan”.

He expressed deep concern over the growing incidents of violence across Afghanistan, fearing that ISIS or al-Qaeda could gain a foothold in the country.

He said destruction of infrastructure and the lack of economic opportunities could jeopardize the benefits of the Afghan peace process.

Qureshi emphasized on taking forward and strengthening the Doha peace process and called upon the international community to secure investment in Afghanistan to achieve the goals of prosperity.

The 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference was attended by 15 countries of the region, 16 supporting States and 12 regional and international organizations.

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