Thursday Sep 23, 2021
UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES: Pakistan does not have the capacity to bear more Afghan refugees, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.
Pakistan has time and again called on the international community to help the Afghans and unfreeze the country's assets abroad after the Taliban took over the country in mid-August in a lightning sweep.
The foreign minister met his counterpart on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he informed him of Pakistan's stance on Afghanistan.
The foreign minister, during the meeting, said Pakistan was working towards averting a possible humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, as he called upon the international community to play a positive role and engage with the newly-formed Taliban government in Kabul.
The foreign minister told his counterpart that Pakistan aspires to promote trade, investment, and people-to-people contact with the United States.
After Blinken had said that Washington would reassess its relationship with Pakistan in the coming days, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar On September 16 had said the United States's announcement was "surprising" as we have played a positive role in the Afghan peace process.
Meetings with Turkish, Saudi counterparts
Earlier, FM Qureshi had also met his Turkish and Saudi counterparts, where he had stressed sustained and positive engagement of the international community with the newly-established government in Afghanistan.
In his meeting with Çavuşoğlu, the foreign minister highlighted the need for sustained international engagement to support lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In addition to calling for the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, the foreign minister underscored the need for a coordinated approach to avert an economic collapse in Afghanistan.
He also highlighted that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan will contribute towards the promotion of connectivity and regional prosperity.
Similarly, in his meeting with the Saudi foreign minister, FM Qureshi stressed that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of crucial importance for Pakistan and the region.
He added that sustained and positive engagement of the international community was critical for preventing a humanitarian crisis, averting an economic collapse, and supporting long-term development and stability in Afghanistan.