Friday Jul 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has welcomed the first visit of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Baradar to China saying Beijing as a neighbouring country of Afghanistan has an important role to play in the Afghan peace process, reported The News on Friday.
“Pakistan is a close and brotherly neighbour of Afghanistan, and the only country that has consistently emphasised that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict,” said Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in his weekly media briefing.
A delegation of Afghan Taliban recently held discussions with the Chinese leadership in Beijing where they assured them that Afghanistan's soil will not be used against any country.
He pointed out that Pakistan had been supporting and facilitating the peace process for achieving an inclusive intra-Afghan political settlement. “All neighbours of Afghanistan, including China, have been supporting a political resolution of the Afghan conflict.
“Pakistan and China are committed to facilitating and supporting Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process”, he added.
To a query about rhetoric from India about Mullah Baradar’s China visit, the spokesman responded, “Unfortunately, India is among the spoilers of the peace process and this Indian thinking is also reflected by its continued opposition to the Afghan peace process and the efforts being made by the international community in this regard.”
Chaudhri also told the reporters that Pakistan has no intention of downgrading its relationship with Afghanistan in view of the Afghan envoy’s daughter’s alleged abduction.
“Pakistan has no intention to downgrade diplomatic relations with Afghanistan despite the recent case of the daughter of the Afghan ambassador, which compelled Kabul to recall its ambassador and other senior diplomats from Islamabad,” he said.
“Regarding the possibility of the downgrading of diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, Pakistan believes in maintaining close, cooperative and brotherly relations with Afghanistan. There is no plan to downgrade our diplomatic relations with Afghanistan”, the spokesman responded.
Regarding the reported abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter, he said a thorough investigation was conducted. Over 700 hours of video footage from over 300 CCTV cameras was examined. More than 200 witnesses were interviewed by the security personnel.
“While a significant progress has been made in this case, we believe that the cooperation of Afghan ambassador and his daughter is critical in concluding the investigation”, he said.
Negative statements by some elements, who are not representative of the people of Afghanistan, the spokesman pointed out, cannot be allowed to adversely impact this important relationship particularly at this critical juncture of the ongoing Afghan peace process.