Monday September 27, 2021

Violence in Afghanistan to strengthen spoilers: FM

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s Special Envoy of Foreign Minister for Afghanistan Ebrahim Taherian Fard, met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Foreign Office on Thursday where issues related to Afghan peace process, regional security and mutual interest were discussed.

The meeting come at a time when President Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah have reached Washington on a two-day visit to meet with President Joe Biden. There are worries in Pakistan and its neighbours at the level of violence continuing inside Afghanistan as the US troops continue to withdraw.

Qureshi expressed concern on high level of violence and emphasised the need for reduction in violence. The foreign minister highlighted salient aspects of Pakistan’s consistent policy on Afghanistan.

“Emphasising that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, the foreign minister underscored that only a negotiated political settlement, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process, would help achieve the desired objective of sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office after the meetings.

He also expressed concern on high level of violence and emphasised the need for reduction in violence leading to corresponding ceasefire. He added that continuation of violence would strengthen the hands of spoilers who did not wish to see return of peace in the region. Qureshi urged that it was important for the Afghan parties to seize this opportunity and leverage the international support for the peace process.

In his meeting with the Iranian dignitary which like Pakistan is still hosting a large number of Afghan refugees, Qureshi highlighted the fact that both Pakistan and Iran have suffered due to instability in Afghanistan and the foreign minister stressed close coordination between the two countries. The minister congratulated President-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi on his victory and reaffirmed commitment to further increase bilateral relations in all areas.