In a statement issued Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the world should not repeat the mistake of disengaging from Afghanistan. Talat Iqbal was a veteran Pakistani actor who died in the United States.
A meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly session in New York provided him with an opportunity to share his thoughts on this issue.
This is the first meeting between the two top diplomats, and as the foreign minister’s statement following the meeting demonstrated, the conversation centred on Afghanistan.
During his opening remarks at the meeting with Blinken, Qureshi stated, “We must find a way to work together to achieve our common goal, which is peace and stability.”
As reported by Pakistan’s foreign office in a news statement released after the meeting, Foreign Minister Salahuddin noted that tight cooperation between Pakistan and the United States has always been mutually beneficial and a factor in maintaining peace in South Asia.
His statement reaffirmed Pakistan’s goal for a balanced partnership with the United States, one that is based on commerce and investment as well as energy and regional connectivity.
FM Qureshi also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to assisting efforts to reach an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan, which has been a source of contention recently.
It was emphasised that only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan, one that reflects the country’s diversity while also preserving the gains made by the country since 2001, would be able to ensure that Afghan territory would never be exploited by transnational terrorist groups in the future, he added.
As a result of the emergence of a new political reality in Afghanistan, the foreign minister stated that while the Taliban must be held accountable for their promises, the international community has a moral obligation to assist the Afghan people in dealing with the growing humanitarian crisis in their country.
In the future, he hopes that the world would not make the same mistake that it did by withdrawing from Afghanistan.
The foreign minister drew attention to the dire human rights situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the critical importance of settling the Kashmir question for the long-term stability and peace of South Asia.
As stated in a press release, Secretary Blinken expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for its assistance in evacuating US people and other nations from Afghanistan and its efforts to maintain peace in the region during their meeting with him.
After engaging with representatives from Pakistan, China, and Russia, Blinken expressed his belief that the world was unified in its efforts to press the Taliban.