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Pakistan discusses Afghan situation with several counterparts as Taliban continues its rampage

In his conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Qureshi emphasised that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region.

Published: 22nd August 2021 12:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2021 12:49 AM   |  A+A-

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday held telephonic interactions with his counterparts from Russia, Germany Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium and with the OIC chief on the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan.

In his conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Qureshi emphasised that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of critical importance for Pakistan and the region, according to the Pakistan Foreign Office.

"Pakistan had consistently supported the Afghan peace process," he said, adding that Pakistan and Russia, as part of Troika Plus, had made valuable contributions to these efforts.

The two foreign ministers agreed to continue working closely through the Troika Plus format.

Qureshi highlighted that an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan, and said Pakistan was fully supporting efforts in that direction.

He stressed the importance of ensuring safety and security as well as protection of rights of all Afghans.

The foreign minister also apprised his Russian counterpart of Pakistan's outreach to regional countries for consultations on dealing with the challenges arising out of developments in Afghanistan.

He informed Lavrov that on the request of several governments, Pakistan was facilitating evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, staff of international organisations, media and others from Afghanistan, the Foreign Office said.

Qureshi expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations and reiterated the government's resolve for early implementation of the agreement on the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

The two foreign ministers agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in different areas, enhance high-level exchanges and remain in close contact on matters relating to Afghanistan.

Qureshi received a telephone call from German counterpart Heiko Maas and the two leaders exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan.

"We must work together to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan," Qureshi told Maas, adding that the international community's support for the Afghan peace process would be vital.

He stressed that it was important for the international community to remain engaged in support of the Afghan people for ensuring humanitarian and economic assistance.

Qureshi called Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu and exchanged views on bilateral relations and reviewed the latest situation in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan's National Security Committee (NSC) had underscored the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region and hoped that the Afghan leaders would work together to achieve inclusive political settlement.

The two foreign ministers agreed to coordinate closely on the situation in Afghanistan, the Foreign Office said.

Qureshi also received a telephone call from Belgian's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes who exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.

He underscored the importance of the world community to support the people of Afghanistan to address the humanitarian situation for economic sustenance.

The Belgian foreign minister thanked Pakistan for its support and facilitation in evacuation.

Qureshi spoke with Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag about the Afghan situation.

The two leaders agreed that international cooperation was important for the prosperity of the Afghan people.

He also spoke with Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.

Qureshi told Al-Othaimeen that Pakistan will continue to play its constructive role in Afghanistan.

He said it was imperative for the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan including by supporting the country's economy, reconstruction, rehabilitation and humanitarian needs.

He added that it was also important for the Muslims to show traditional solidarity with the Afghan people in their quest for a peaceful, united, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

The OIC Secretary-General apprised Qureshi of the OIC Executive Meeting that has been convened in Jeddah on August 22 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have released 340 "political prisoners" in Farah province in western Afghanistan, Sputnik reported on Saturday.

Another 40 inmates were released in central Uruzgan province, The Russian News Agency reported citing the Shamshad News broadcaster.

This comes after Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada earlier on Thursday ordered the release of political detainees from all Afghan prisons.

The Taliban entered Kabul earlier on Sunday and took control of the presidential palace after the country's president Ashraf Ghani fled.

Afghanistan is witnessing its worst-ever crisis in decades as the Taliban's control has forced people to flee the nation in afraid of their atrocities. Afghans have flocked to the Kabul airport in order to flee the Taliban. Terrorists on the streets of Kabul are reportedly preventing people from entering the airport using force. The situation continues to deteriorate at the airport and around its perimeter, which is under Taliban control.

Soon after the terror group claimed control of the Afghan capital, several countries evacuated their diplomatic personnel from the country, and thousands of people flocked to the Kabul airport in a desperate attempt to leave Afghanistan.

The world is closely watching the unfolding situation in Afghanistan as the countries have scrambled to evacuate its citizens from Afghanistan in an attempt to secure their people.

(With ANI Inputs)



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