ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday assured that Pakistan will continue to play its constructive role for the success of intra-Afghan peace talks, aiming at political reconciliation and an end to decades of violence in the war-stricken country.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Pakistan-Afghan Bilateral Dialogue in Islamabad, the foreign minister said that Pakistan is now being recognised at the world level as part of the solution, and “not part of the problem”.
He reiterated that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan conflict.
Qureshi further said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest and that of the whole region.
He said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and a core group would be travelling to Washington soon.
“I wish them luck and a good visit but let me spell it down in advance. If the objective of the visit is to start a new blame game and hold Pakistan responsible for all the ills [in Afghanistan] and the lack of [progress in the peace] process, then it will not help,” he said.
“It is a shared responsibility and nobody is going to buy it anymore that if things go wrong [then] Pakistan is responsible. We will not take responsibility,” said the foreign minister, adding that Pakistan was “honest and sincere” in building a peace process in Afghanistan.
He recalled that Pakistan played a vital role in the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban in Doha and expressed hope that the intra-Afghan negotiations will also lead to sustainable peace.
Expressing concerns over the violence in Afghanistan, Qureshi said a reduction in the violence leading to a ceasefire is imperative to move forward. He stressed that both Kabul and the Taliban will have to demonstrate flexibility to reach a settlement.
Expressing concerns over the remarks of the Afghanistan vice president and the National Security Adviser against Pakistan, he said the blame game must come to an end as it will not help.
The foreign minister said that there are spoilers inside and outside Afghanistan and both the parties should be fully cognizant of their nefarious designs.
He said Pakistan has taken a very clear decision of non-interference and it has no favourites in Afghanistan. He said the government has invited every ethnic group from Afghanistan to Pakistan to discuss peace and stability.
He further said Pakistan is doing everything possible for the management of its borders with Afghanistan. He, however, said an increase in the footprints of militant groups such as ISIS in Afghanistan is a matter of concern for Pakistan.
Qureshi said Pakistan has been hosting a sizeable number of Afghan refugees for more than three decades and the time has come for their dignified and honourable return to their homeland.
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