Pakistan determined to play ‘positive role’ in Afghanistan: Qureshi

Islamabad:  Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday said Pakistan is determined to play a “positive role” in Afghanistan as he appealed to the Taliban insurgents and former rulers of the war-ravaged country to formulate an all-inclusive political government after mutual consultations.

Qureshi said that nobody is ready to face bloodshed in Afghanistan and people are looking for peace and stability in the country that has been taken over by the Taliban insurgents.

Pakistan is determined to play its positive role, he said. Our envoy in Afghanistan is also in touch with different Afghan personalities, he said in a statement.

The Taliban insurgents swept Kabul on Sunday after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an unprecedented end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the war-ravaged nation.

The foreign minister said the Afghan delegation visiting Pakistan held talks with him and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Qureshi said some “anti-peace elements” are active to play the role of spoiler. He said it is the test of Afghan leadership’s sagacity as to how they cope with such challenges.

He also said that it is time for all the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to sit together for consultations.

He announced that he will visit neighbouring countries in the next few days to chalk out a comprehensive strategy after consultations.

Our aim is Afghanistan’s stability and we will continue our endeavours…, he said.

The Afghan delegation which visited Pakistan on Thursday called for the formation of an inclusive government through a power-sharing deal with all stakeholders in the war-torn country.

Comprising Speaker Wolesi Jirga Mir Rehman Rehmani, Salahud din Rabbani and former Afghan vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni among others, the delegation met top civil and military leadership including Prime Minister Khan, Qureshi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Faiz Hameed.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the visit, Rahmani said the next phase in Afghanistan was the formation of a government.

The new government will only succeed if all stakeholders are made part of it, he said, adding that in case the Taliban failed to form an inclusive government the country could return to the post-1996 situation.

Rehmani said the new government should be acceptable to the people and it should ensure freedom of speech and the rule of law in Afghanistan.

The delegation members told the media that a larger delegation would also visit other countries to seek support for their demands, and said the process has started from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s embassy was functional in Kabul and extending facilitation to all those seeking visas and wanting to utilise Pakistan as a transit point to leave Afghanistan, while its national carrier operating to pull out the foreigners as well Pakistanis.

Radio Pakistan reported that a special flight of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will bring 350 passengers from Afghanistan on Friday. The passengers include representatives of the World Bank and other world institutions.

So far, PIA helped to evacuate about 1,100 people, including diplomats, staff of diplomatic missions and international agencies and journalists from Kabul.

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