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April 16, 2021

Pakistan supports troops exit in coordination with Afghan stakeholders

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April 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan fully supports the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stakeholders, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement on Thursday.

Responding to media queries, the spokesperson said: “We have seen the statement of US President Joe Biden announcing that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will start from the first of next month and be completed by 11 September this year.” He said Pakistan also hopes the US will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan. Chaudhri said Pakistan will continue to work together with the international community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan has been consistently supporting and facilitating the efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. The spokesperson said Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is important for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Towards this end, the US-Taliban Agreement of 29 February 2020 laid foundation for a comprehensive intra-Afghan peace agreement including a permanent ceasefire for bringing an end to violence in Afghanistan. “It is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress in the peace process.”

He hoped that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress towards a negotiated political settlement. The spokesperson said Pakistan has consistently reiterated that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in its interest.

“Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan. A meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in the post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability.”

Chaudhri said Pakistan believes that another key feature in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan should be a time-bound and well-resourced plan for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan.