International community decides to engage Afghanistan for humanitarian assistance: Qureshi

International community decides to engage Afghanistan for humanitarian assistance: Qureshi
ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP):Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday said the international community had decided to engage Afghanistan on the issue of humanitarian assistance.

In an interview with the Voice of America Urdu, he said Pakistan was persuading the world not to leave Afghanistan alone because it would destabilize the country and leave space for terrorists and that would be a historic mistake.

The United States went into Afghanistan after 9/11 to take away space from terrorists, he said adding Pakistan had invited the special representatives of P5 countries for the conference of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

The minister said the conference would be an opportunity for the Afghan interim government to remove apprehensions of the world.

The minister said the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan was severe and Pakistan was hosting the conference of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers to address this issue.

The conference had one-point agenda of focus on the humanitarian crisis of Afghanistan, he said adding the United States had recognized the role of Pakistan for the peace and stability of Afghanistan, and during the intra Afghan negotiations and evacuation of people from Afghanistan.

The minister said the world recognized that it had to acknowledge the role of Pakistan if it wanted to avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Pakistan was an important country of the region and for the world, it would be beneficial to make Pakistan its ally, he observed.

Europe had realized that in case of the exodus of economic migrants from Afghanistan, there could be problems, he commented.

The minister said, “We want good relations with the United States which is an important country and will remain so.”

“Whenever we exchanged views and work together the two countries benefited.”

He said the priorities of the government were economic security and socioeconomic development of the people of Pakistan

“We have shifted from geopolitics to geoeconomics and the US can help us in this respect. The US can help Pakistan with trade, investment, technology transfer and for promoting regional connectivity.”

The US corporate sector had investment opportunities in Pakistan, he asserted.

To a question, he said the world had to save itself from cold war mentality.

“Pakistan does not want to become part of any camp and wanted to concentrate on its economic and social issues. We want good relations with everybody.”

He said Pakistan would take care of its own interests and it was not in our interest to become part of any confrontation.

He said he recently talked to US Deputy Secretary of State who stated that the United States would continue to cooperate with Afghanistan and this statement was satisfactory.

She also said the US wanted to deepen relations with Pakistan which showed that there was a positive change in the thinking of the US and he welcomed it, he added.

He said an inclusive government, protection of women rights and not giving space to terrorists was in the interest of Afghanistan.
Pakistan wanted peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan, he said adding the peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and Pakistan were interlinked and they had shared interests.

He said the policy of abandonment of Afghanistan by the international community in the 1990s was not beneficial.
“Taliban should be encouraged to bring change in their behaviour.”

The neighbours of Afghanistan and now the Islamic countries including Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia wanted the government in Afghanistan to adopt a moderate approach, he concluded.