FO says Afghan NSA “nullifying progress in peace process”

By Staff Reporter
Saturday – June 19, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign office (FO) strongly condemned, on Friday, the baseless insinuations by the Afghan national security advisor (NSA), Hamdullah Mohib, alleging Pakistan’s involvement in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, “the repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks by the Afghan NSA are deeply concerning as they are tantamount to a calculated attempt by his office to disregard and nullify the progress in the peace process so far.”

According to press releases, Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process has been widely acknowledged by the international community.

We would also like to remind the Afghan NSA, of mutual understanding reached in Afghanistan-Pakistan action plan for peace and solidarity (APAPPS), obligating both sides to avoid public blame-game and use official channels to discuss complete gamut of bilateral relations.

Statements that erode mutual trust should be avoided.

Separately, the foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Afghan high council for national reconciliation (HCNR) chairman Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday, on the sidelines of Antalya diplomacy forum in a southern Turkish port city.

Recalling the visit of Afghan HCNR Abdullah in September 2020, the FM reaffirmed Pakistan’s policy of maintaining broad engagement with Afghan political leadership to forge deeper mutual understanding on bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process.

FM Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s meaningful contribution to facilitate the direct talks between United States (US) and Taliban as well as the Afghan parties.

He reiterated that it is now up to the Afghan leaders to seize the historic opportunity afforded by the intra-Afghan negotiations for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive settlement.

He urged the Afghan leaders to expedite progress in intra-Afghan negotiations for lasting peace in Afghanistan.

FM Qureshi added that the progress in the Afghan peace process is critical to reduce space for spoilers, who did not wish to see return of peace in the region.

He underscored that negative statements and blame game only serves to vitiate the environment and strengthen the hand of spoilers who wish to derail the peace process.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of brotherhood and goodwill humanitarian gesture, the government of Pakistan (GoP) sent, on Friday, much needed medical supplies of oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPEs), thermal guns and other relevant items for protection against the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic to the brotherly people of Afghanistan.

The consul general of Pakistan in Jalalabad handed over the equipments to relevant Afghan authorities at the Torkham border.

It is hoped that the medical equipments will help in saving the lives of the affected Afghan people who are facing a huge challenge at this critical time.

Separately, back in Antalya, the FM met with Qatari FM Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on the sidelines of Antalya diplomacy forum.

FM Qureshi acknowledged the constructive and supportive role played by Qatar in the Afghan peace process and reiterated Pakistan’s support for intra-Afghan negotiations.

Both the leaders discussed the current status of the Afghan peace process and agreed to continue playing a facilitating role.

Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close, cordial ties based on mutual trust and understanding.

The bilateral relationship is broad-based and multifaceted, covering diverse fields including political, trade, commercial, defence, people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges.

The two leaders exchanged views on the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and on the evolving developments in the region.

They agreed to continue engaging on matters of mutual interest.