Sunday October 24, 2021

No final decision yet on recognising Taliban govt: FM

September 17, 2021
No final decision yet on recognising Taliban govt: FM

DUSHANBE: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said that Pakistan had not made any final decision to recognise the Taliban government, although consultations are being held in this regard. Qureshi said Islamabad’s priority was to avert a humanitarian crisis and an internal conflict in the war-torn country.

Speaking exclusively to The News, Qureshi said Pakistan wanted to facilitate efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan, which would benefit the entire region. On recognising the Taliban government, he said that Pakistan was analysing the interim setup in Afghanistan. “We are monitoring whether all the groups are included in the government or not.”

Qureshi also mentioned that consultations were underway about recognising the Taliban government, but no final decision had been made in this regard so far. Talking about the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) — where he is present with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other top officials —the minister said that Pakistan had already made a strategy with the SCO on Afghanistan.

Qureshi said foreign ministers of China, Russia, and Pakistan had an important meeting, where they deliberated over who was responsible for Afghanistan’s situation and the way forward. The minister said Imran Khan had met government officials from China and Kazakhstan, where he had informed them about Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan.

Speaking about his four-nation tour to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran, Qureshi mentioned that he had taken up the issue of Afghanistan with the officials of all the said states.

Highlighting Pakistan’s role in the recent evacuations from Kabul, where US and its allies had taken out thousands of people seeking to escape the country, Qureshi said: “Pakistan helped more than 13,000 people evacuate from Afghanistan.”

The minister said the interim government in Afghanistan had declared an end to the war, and so, the TTP should also review its policies. “The problem we have with the TTP is that they killed innocent people. The TTP should think about its future, keeping in mind its past actions,” Qureshi said. “If the TTP responds in a positive manner, so will Pakistan.”

The minister added, “But if they respond negatively, we will face them as we have before.” The minister said Pakistan had time and again informed ousted president Ashraf Ghani about TTP’s presence in Afghanistan, but his regime did not take any action against them. He said the new government in Afghanistan has assured Pakistan that Afghan soil would not be used against any country, including Pakistan.

The minister said he had not yet scheduled a meeting with his Indian counterpart and ruled out the possibility of any meetings with him. “India should not worry about Pakistan,” he said. “Pakistan is talking about peace and stability in Afghanistan, does India aspire for anarchy in Afghanistan?”

“Does India wish to continue its role as a spoiler (to peace in Afghanistan)?” he asked. The minister urged India to review its policies, as he noted that the National Directorate of Security and Research and Analysis Wing had made efforts in destabilising Pakistan. “Did it help in stabilising the region?” he asked.