Pakistan wants to adopt joint regional strategy on Afghanistan: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi - File photo

Pakistan wants to adopt joint regional strategy on Afghanistan: QureshiISLAMABAD, July 13 (APP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that Pakistan wanted to adopt a joint strategy on Afghanistan after consultation with important countries of the region.

“As Pakistan is fulfilling its responsibilities, the improved situation in Afghanistan will benefit all. If, God forbids, the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, all will be affected.” Qureshi said in a statement from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

The Foreign Minister said since he was in Tajikistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, he wanted to utilize the opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan with important countries of the region, who were also monitoring the situation.

Qureshi said with a detailed discussion already held with his Tajik counterpart on the situation in Afghanistan on Monday,  he besides holding meetings with Foreign Ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan today, was also expected to meet with the Foreign Ministers of China and Russia.

The Foreign Minister said that India by playing the role of a spoiler in Afghanistan was disturbing regional peace.

He urged the international community to prohibit India from the negative attitude, adding, India should also let Afghanistan live with peace.

Qureshi said that as the neighboring countries would be affected by the situation in Afghanistan, it was a golden opportunity to take consultative process forward.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan was the only country which despite its limited resources was hosting three million Afghan refugees since decades, adding, however, if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated again, it cannot afford to welcome more refugees from Afghanistan.

Qureshi said Pakistan by sacrificing 70,000 lives and suffering huge economic losses had paid a heavy price in the war against terrorism.

He said that since under the guise of Afghan refugees, some anti-Pakistan elements can enter the country, it was their obligation to remain cautious.

The Foreign Minister said he considered most of the Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan as innocent who wanted to return to their country.

He said that Pakistan wanted to help the Afghan people on humanitarian ground, but also wanted to ensure the safety and security of its own people.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan desired sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan. How long fingers will be pointed towards Pakistan, he questioned.

He urged Afghans not to repeat the mistakes of past and find a way by sitting together. “We invite the important Afghan personalities for dialogue. Afghan leaders should sit and tell how we can help them?” he added.