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No military solution to Afghan conflict: FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi

By Our Reporter
April 24, 2021

ISTANBUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict.

Terming the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey trilateral meeting as “useful”, he said a negotiated political solution of the Afghan issue was the only way forward. “It is a unique opportunity for Afghans to show farsightedness. If they suffer, everybody will suffer. It is important that Afghans sit together and find a way forward,” he said while addressing a joint press conference along with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu here after the trilateral meeting hosted by Turkey.

Qureshi said as there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, Pakistan had urged and would continue to urge all the Afghan parties to sit together and find a way forward. “We as brothers can only facilitate,” he remarked.

He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan, which had suffered the most due to the war in Afghanistan. The foreign minister said during the trilateral meeting, they discussed various issues relating to Afghanistan, including economic, security, migration, refugees, etc.

“Illegal migration is an issue, which needs to be tackled,” Qureshi said, adding that he also discussed this issue during his visit to Tehran.

The foreign ministers of Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan discussed the latest developments in Afghan peace process andexchanged views on achieving the shared objectives of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process.

Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s valuable efforts towards this end. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday categorically rejected speculations of any secret talks between Pakistan and India through back-door channels or third party involvement.

“We are not having any talks (with India) at the moment. UAE is not facilitating any talks,” Qureshi told a Turkish television network. The foreign minister said the UAE had good relations with both Pakistan and India, but there were no such talks. He, however, added that Pakistan never shied away from talks but it was India which has been shying away from talks.

He referred to the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying if India would take one step forward, Pakistan would take two. He said Pakistan was willing for talks but India would have to create a conducive environment vitiated by its unilateral August 5, 2019 action in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), which deprived the Kashmiris of their fundamental rights.

“How can talks be held in such an environment?” Qureshi questioned. Even some secular segments in India are saying that the policy of the Indian government for Kashmir has failed to achieve the objectives, he added.