Tuesday, August 17, 2021

We seek the Taliban's assurance Afghan soil will not be used against Pakistan: President Alvi

President Arif Alvi's remarks come after the Taliban give similar assurances to China and US

President Arif Alvi expects similar assurances for Pakistan from Taliban as given to China and US. File photo
President Arif Alvi expects similar assurances for Pakistan from Taliban as given to China and US. File photo
  • Pakistan has fenced its borders with Afghanistan to check terrorists' inflow: Alvi.
  • Says whether or not the Taliban will be recognised will be decided through international consultation.
  • We will trust them as our neighbour to ensure peace: president.

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Tuesday said that Pakistan seeks similar assurances from the Taliban, as given to China and the United States (US), that they would not use Afghan soil against Pakistan or any other country.

“We will always like assurances, like the ones which were given to China and the United States, that the Afghan territory will never be used against any other country,” the president said in an interview with TRT’s "Strait Talk".

The president was responding to host Ayese Suberker as she questioned whether Pakistan was concerned about the resurfacing of terrorist groups after the Taliban took over and about any preconditions with the new government in Afghanistan.

President Alvi said that the Taliban had given assurances to China and the US and said that he expected the same for Pakistan.

“On the same principle, I am very hopeful that a similar attitude will be there for Pakistan as far as Afghanistan's new government is concerned — whatever form it takes,” said Alvi.

He said the international norms settled in the Charter of the United Nations also support such conduct.

To check the inflow of terrorists, he said, Pakistan has fenced its borders with Afghanistan.

Responding to a question that whether Pakistan was likely to recognise the Taliban as the legitimate representative of the Afghan people, Alvi said that whatever decision the government makes will happen with the consultation of several other countries.

First, we have to evaluate the situation as it emerges, he added.

When asked if Pakistan found the Taliban “trustworthy”, he said that whichever ruling power is in Afghanistan, "we will trust them as our neighbour to ensure peace".

President Alvi termed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as “hasty” and said that Pakistan always tried to persuade the US into avoiding war, and favour negotiations as a better solution.

He regretted that may it be the Vietnam War or the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, humanity quickly forgot the lessons learned.

The president pointed out that blaming Pakistan for the situation in Afghanistan has become a fashion. However, he stressed that the swift collapse in Afghanistan has shown the world that the situation was far beyond countries to play their roles.

“With the US presence of 20 years in Afghanistan, almost two trillion dollars spent, and investment of hundreds of billions for development, I think the blame game and finding a scapegoat is easy,” said Alvi.

On Pakistan’s role in bringing stability to the war-torn country, the president said Pakistan looked forward to the resumption of peace in Afghanistan and was ready to play a role in its reconstruction.

He said during the four-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan was the “biggest loser” in terms of suffering the impact after Afghanistan itself.

With the return of peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be the "biggest winner", he said, expressing optimism that things would settle down quite fast.

He said that Pakistan was hosting four million refugees and stressed that such a gesture must be considered as a matter of goodwill by the Afghan people.

President Alvi said Pakistan was in touch with China, Russia, Turkey, and the US to pursue the agenda of the development of the region.

However, he stressed that India was playing the role of a spoiler and urged it to not use any other territory against Pakistan.

On bilateral relations with Turkey, he expressed satisfaction over defence cooperation. He said that more collaboration is needed in economic ties to match the potential.

He also mentioned Turkey’s unwavering support to Pakistan’s stance on Jammu and Kashmir, which he said was facing grave human rights violations for decades under Indian occupation.