Pak PM Khan to chair meeting on the situation in Afghanistan


Islamabad: A meeting of Pakistan’s security committee chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan will be held on Monday to discuss the evolving situation in neighbouring Afghanistan, a day after the Taliban seizing power in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement that Pakistan will present its stance on the current situation following consultations in the National Security Committee meeting.

Senior political and military leaders, including Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, will attend the meeting.

Another important meeting will be held with a visiting Afghan delegation at the Foreign Office.

Separately, Qureshi will also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Khan and discuss the regional situation.

The Prime Minister Khan has asked Qureshi to establish contacts with neighbouring countries of Afghanistan next week.

In another related development, Prime Minister Khan had a telephonic conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is facilitating the evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations and others in Kabul, as requested.

During the telephonic conversation, the two leaders reviewed the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan.

Also, the Foreign Office said that Pakistan was closely following the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

“It is imperative that the Afghan leaders work together to address the evolving situation and craft a way forward for sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said in a statement.

He said Pakistan will continue to play its constructive role in promoting this goal.

“In our view, achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and bringing an end to the four-decades long conflict is a shared responsibility of the international community,” he said.

Pakistan has a direct stake for peace in Afghanistan because the security situation in the neighbouring country has a direct bearing on the security situation in this country.

The Taliban on Sunday seized the last major city outside of Kabul held by the country’s central government, cutting off the Afghan capital to the east.

Taliban insurgents began moving towards Kabul following the overnight collapse of the two remaining cities of Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad.

US President Joe Biden in April announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, thus bringing to end the country’s longest war, spanning across two decades.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, but following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the brutal regime of the militant group came to an end as they were removed from power by US-led forces in 2001.

The group, however, has been on the offensive in recent months and is now on the brink of seizing power again. They entered direct talks with the US in 2018, and in February 2020. The two sides struck a peace deal in Doha that committed the US to withdrawal and the Taliban to prevent attacks on US forces. PTI

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