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Sunday October 24, 2021

Fawad fears repeating mistakes from past would make Afghanistan 'hub of extremist organisations'

The minister says country had been left alone in the past, and now the world was repeating the same mistakes

APP
August 30, 2021
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain addressing a conference on lawfare in Islamabad on July 14, 2021. — PID/File
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain addressing a conference on lawfare in Islamabad on July 14, 2021. — PID/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Technology fears that repeating the mistakes made in the past would lead to the creation of a 'hub of extremist organisations' in Afghanistan, which could also jeopardise Pakistan.

Talking to TRT World, he said if Afghanistan was left alone, as it was in the past, the situation would get worse, as he stressed an inclusive government in Afghanistan was imperative. He urged the world, regional powers to support the process.

The government in Afghanistan has to be formed by the Afghans, he said, adding that the regional and world powers have a "heavy responsibility in facilitating this process."

Pakistan is pushing for the establishment of an all-inclusive, broad-based government in Afghanistan, he said.

The minister added that the country had been left alone in the past, and now the world was repeating the same mistakes.

He said when the erstwhile Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988, Pakistan had to deal with the situation and now the United States and NATO forces have withdrawn rapidly from Afghanistan, and "Pakistan again was at the quagmire of the situation and dealing with the issue."

Pakistan is keeping a close eye on this issue, said the minister, adding that if the Afghanistan situation did not stabilise, millions of people would start moving towards Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan has already been hosting 3.5 million Afghan refugees for decades and the country's economy could no longer bear the burden of more refugees.

The efforts of the international community were necessary to solve the Afghan problem, said Fawad.

He went on to say that Pakistan was playing the role of a responsible country and striving for a stable Afghanistan by working with regional and international powers.

Unrest in Afghanistan, he said, was detrimental not only to Pakistan but to the entire world.

Responding to a question, he said as the change was bloodless, there was no crisis for refugees at the moment and borders were normal right now.

"We have evacuated foreigners and those working in foreign companies from Kabul", he said adding that over 4,500 people have been evacuated from Kabul through Pakistan International Airlines.

He said arrangements have been made for refugees at the border.

The minister said a comprehensive strategy has been formulated with regard to Afghan refugees as the government did not want to repeat the 1979 situation.

It would not allow the refugees to move inside Pakistan.

The world, he said, should come forward to help Pakistan for meeting the challenge.

He said the world did not pay heed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's advice, adding, the former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani did not hold general elections in the country which resulted in the present crisis due to lack of a consensus government.

He said that two tracks including the troika plus including Russia, China, US, Pakistan, and the other track comprising regional countries Turkey, Iran, and Central Asian countries should take the lead.

The minister said Pakistan and Turkey were in close cooperation on the issue as they were partners in peace in Afghanistan.