Tuesday Aug 17, 2021
ISLAMABAD: "Great responsibility" rests on the Afghan leaders to work constructively together to lead Afghanistan on the path of sustainable peace, stability, and development, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday after the Taliban took over the country in a 10-day lightning offensive.
The premier's comments came during a meeting with a delegation of political leaders from Afghanistan, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
"No other country is more desirous of peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan," the premier told the delegation.
PM Imran Khan expressed strong support and solidarity for the fraternal people of Afghanistan, linked to the people of Pakistan through immutable bonds of faith, history, geography, culture and kinship, the statement said.
Pakistan has also made it clear that although it welcomes the "peaceful" transfer of power in Afghanistan, it will not take a unilateral decision to recognise the Taliban government, the statement underscored.
The prime minister also highlighted the importance of all sides working to secure an inclusive political solution.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, PM Imran Khan assured the delegation of Pakistan’s steadfast support for efforts in this direction.
The delegation members thanked the prime minister for his hospitality and appreciated Pakistan’s support for the peace efforts, the statement said.
"They emphasised the multi-ethnic nature of Afghan society and the importance of an inclusive dispensation," it said, adding that the delegation reiterated the desire to further strengthen the brotherly relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A day earlier, the National Security Committee (NSC) had reiterated that Pakistan aspired for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The development came during a meeting which was called to deliberate on the emerging situation in Afghanistan — with PM Imran Khan in the chair.
The NSC noted that Pakistan was a victim of the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan and, therefore, desired peace and stability in the neighbourhood.
The world knows of the sacrifices we have made, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Munir Akram had said Monday as he drew the international community's attention towards Islamabad's efforts for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Akram's comments came during his press briefing at the UN after India — being the chair of the United Nations Security Council — had denied Pakistan the opportunity to speak at the council's meeting on Afghanistan.
The ambassador had said if he were allowed to speak to the council, he would have informed it about the meeting of the National Security Committee of Pakistan, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, where the overall situation in Afghanistan was discussed.
Pakistan has been a victim of the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan and we desire peace and stability in our neighbourhood, he had said, adding: "The world knows of the sacrifices that we have made."
The ideal time to end the conflict through negotiations might have been when the US and NATO troops were at maximum military strength in Afghanistan, he had said.
Continuation of foreign military presence for a longer duration now, would not have yielded any positive outcome, Akram had said.