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Friday October 22, 2021

Unwarranted references to Pakistan: Qureshi conveys concern to EU high representative

September 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday conveyed to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Pakistan's concern regarding unwarranted and negative references to it in a recent resolution of the EU Parliament on Afghanistan.

According to a statement by the Foreign Office, Qureshi met with Borrell on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Views were exchanged on the latest developments in Afghanistan and bilateral cooperation between the two sides.

The foreign minister recalled the efforts made by Pakistan for the promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan, sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, and the assistance of Pakistan to ensure safe evacuation of diplomats and other officials from Afghanistan.

Qureshi stressed that Afghanistan was at a "crossroads" and that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of "crucial importance for Pakistan and the region". He called for "sustained and positive engagement of the international community, particularly of the EU, for supporting stability and socio-economic development in Afghanistan", said the statement.

According to the statement, the minister and EU high representative "discussed the modalities for establishing closer cooperation between the EU and the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to prevent a humanitarian crisis, avert an economic collapse, and preclude a mass exodus from Afghanistan".

In the bilateral context, the foreign minister expressed satisfaction at the cooperation between Pakistan and the EU and stressed the importance of holding political as well as Pakistan-EU strategic dialogues at the earliest, said the FO statement.

It further stated that Qureshi shared a dossier containing evidence of India’s grave violations of human rights, international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The European Parliament passed a resolution on the situation in Afghanistan last week, which contained multiple negative references to Pakistan. One of these alleged that Pakistan is "assisting the Taliban" in fighting the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) in the Panjshir Valley "by supplying its special forces and providing air support".

The Foreign Office issued a statement in response to the resolution stating that Pakistan was disappointed at the unwarranted and negative references to it, as this was not consistent with the cooperative relations between Pakistan and the EU. The statement said that Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the failure of the Ghani government, and its causes that were internal to Afghanistan.

Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said the Ghani-led government had unfortunately squandered the opportunity offered by the Doha peace deal. The statement underscored that Pakistan has offered unparalleled support and facilitated the international community, including the EU and its member states in evacuating their diplomats, local staff of the EU Missions in Afghanistan, staff of international organisations, and others from Afghanistan.

"This has also been acknowledged by the visiting foreign ministers of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and also other European foreign ministers during their telephonic conversations with the foreign minister of Pakistan," it said.