Wednesday April 17, 2024

India using Afghan soil for terrorism: Qureshi

By News Report
June 21, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India was using the Afghan soil for terrorism in Pakistan. In a recent, Qureshi said India was funding and training terrorists in Afghanistan.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan's comments on former Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden (OBL) were taken out of context, reports Geo News. "Prime Minister Imran Khan called Osama bin Laden a martyr," interviewer Lotfullah Najafizada asked Qureshi.

"Well, uh, again, out of context. Out of context," responded the foreign minister, after a brief pause. "He [PM Imran Khan] was quoted out of context. And, uh, you know, a particular section of the media played it up," he added.

"Is he a martyr? You disagree? Osama bin Laden?" asked Najafizada. "I will let that pass," responded Qureshi, after another brief pause. APP adds: Meanwhile, Qureshi called for taking the Afghan government and Taliban onboard before pursuing a proposal for handing the security of Kabul Airport over to Turkey.

“It is important to engage with the Afghan government and Taliban to tell them the objective of their proposal. They should get them onboard before actually going about doing it,” Qureshi told CNN Turkey on Saturday during his visit to attend Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

He said Turkey was providing services, including soldiers, to keep the airport open and maintain Kabul’s connection with the world. Asked whether the Turkish government had not shared its proposal with Pakistan, Qureshi said, “No, I haven’t formally heard from them.”

Qureshi said after the postponement of high-level conference on Afghan peace process in April, he decided to visit Istanbul to hold trilateral meeting with the Turkish and Afghan foreign ministers to discuss the way forward vis-à-vis peace process.

“We are in touch. In my view the conference was a good initiative. It should have happened and Pakistan had supported it. And if they agree to hold one, we will continue to be supporting that,” he remarked.

About the upcoming visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the US, Qureshi said they will engage with the Americans and hoped that it would be a positive and constructive meeting with the leadership not involving in blame game.

To another question, he said Pakistan and Turkey had excellent bilateral relations, as the two peoples loved each other. Talking to the Azeri media, Qureshi said Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoyed cordial relations and recalled the visit of Azeri counterpart to Islamabad when they discussed the future trajectory of the bilateral ties.

The foreign minister said he was delighted to know that the Pakistani flags were also hoisted along with Azerbaijan’s after the country won the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Meanwhile, Qureshi Sunday met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu during which they exchanged views on the latest developments in the Afghan peace process and withdrawal of international troops. The meeting took place on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum held in Antalya.

Qureshi congratulated his Turkish counterpart on successfully organising the forum and noted that the forum provided an excellent opportunity to discuss and to engage on various contemporary global issues.

Taking stock of the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, the two sides discussed the ongoing preparations for the 7th Session of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) to be held in Turkey this year.

Qureshi lauded Turkey’s valuable efforts and its outreach to various Afghan parties. Underscoring Pakistan’s abiding interest in a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, Qureshi illustrated Pakistan’s consistent efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process.

He expressed hope that the Afghan parties would seize the opportunity and workout an inclusive politically-negotiated settlement.