Friday Sep 17, 2021
DUSHANBE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged the international community to recognise the reality in Afghanistan and said the war-torn country can not be left on its own.
The prime minister made these remarks at the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit in Tajikistan’s capital.
PM Imran Khan said Pakistan’s stance towards Afghanistan has always been the same, adding, “We want to see a peaceful Afghanistan.”
He said that Pakistan respects Afghanistan's sovereignty and is of the view that the Afghan people should make their own decisions.
While seeking the world’s help to rebuild the country, the prime minister also asked the Taliban to fulfil its promises.
“For their part, the Taliban must fulfil the pledges made above all for an inclusive political structure where all ethnic groups are represented. This is vital for Afghanistan’s stability,” he stated.
He said, “It is also important to ensure respect for the rights of all Afghans, and ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorists.”
“That all this happened [Taliban takeover] without bloodshed, without civil war, and without mass exodus of refugees, should be a matter of relief,” he added.
The prime minister stressed that it is now in the international community’s collective interest to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilised.
He commended the UN Secretary General and UN agencies for leading from the front in mobilising international support for the immediately needed humanitarian assistance.
He also warned of spoilers attempting to jeopardize the situation. “It would be unwise at this critical juncture to spread negativity, or indulge in mischievous propaganda, as some spoilers have sought to do.”
Talking about the worsening situation due to a cash crunch and lack of medical and food items, PM Imran Khan said Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis.
Urging the world to come forward in this time of need, he said Afghan refugees need protection, for which the whole world must come forward.
“The current situation in Afghanistan requires international cooperation," he said, reminding the world about Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terror and the losses incurred to its economy due to the law and order situation.
“Pakistan played a key role in the war on terror and lost over 80,000 lives,” he said, adding that terrorism, unfortunately, is linked with religion.
He said that the SCO is an important platform for trade, investment and connectivity.
The premier said that the region is facing global challenges and has been affected due to climate change and rising temperatures. The prime minister also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts towards these issues.
“We started the plantation drive across the country to improve the environment,” he said.
The prime minister also expressed his concerns on the COVID-19 pandemic and its affects on the world economy.
“We, in Pakistan, adopted a calibrated strategy of ‘smart lockdowns’ – with a simultaneous focus on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy. A very difficult road to navigate,” he said.
The premier also mentioned how Pakistans’ social protection programme Ehsaas helped millions of families to survive.
In a sign of support to China, he suggested the world stay focused on efforts to overcome the pandemic and not politicise its origin.
“We believe science should continue to guide the world’s efforts as it combats the pandemic. Attempts to politicise the question of virus origin should be avoided as it is divisive at a time when the world needs to unite.”
He said that the vaccine should also be available to everyone on an equitable basis.