ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP): Pakistan on Tuesday asked Germany and the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan to avert any humanitarian crisis and economic collapse of the conflict-hit country.
“This is a pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history. The international community must remain engaged,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, here at the Foreign Ministry.
The presser followed the delegation-level talks led by the two foreign ministers that focused on bilateral and regional issues and the situation in Afghanistan.
Qureshi said Germany must “use its influence to convince the international community for continuous engagement” with Afghanistan.
He said the exodus of refugees from Afghanistan in the current situation could not be avoided and therefore needed support from the world.
He said Pakistan had so far safely evacuated over 10,000 people from Afghanistan since August 15.
On formation of government in Afghanistan, he said as per the statements of the Taliban, it was expected to be announced after the U.S. troops completed their withdrawal.
Asked on solid evidence available on India’s financing and training of militant group Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), he said Pakistan had been constantly warning the world to “beware of the spoilers of peace”.
“The international community has to discern the side, either of those who support peace or the ones who for their self-interest are committed to destroy region’s peace,” he said.
— APP 🇵🇰 (@appcsocialmedia) August 31, 2021
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany in coming days would see if the Taliban fulfilled their commitments with the world.
“It remains to be seen if the [Afghan] government will be an inclusive one as we had demanded,” he said.
To a question on India’s terror funding in Afghanistan, he said in broader context, there was a need for formulation of a common strategy by neighbouring countries for continuation of development projects in Afghanistan.
He said Germany and Pakistan were closely coordinating on bilateral and regional issues, including Afghanistan.
He said the German government was grateful for cooperation and receiving information from Pakistan, being the immediate neighbour of Afghanistan.
Maas thanked Pakistan for successfully managing the evacuation of German nationals and local staff and their safe airlift from Afghanistan.
– Consulate General in Munich –
Foreign Minister Qureshi announced to open Pakistan Consulate General in Germany’s city Munich.
He said work was underway on establishing Iqbal-Goethe Centre in Heidelberg.
➖ Bilaterally, we deeply value our longstanding relations with Germany, now in our 70th year of friendship. We will soon inaugurate the Consulate General of Pakistan in Munich & are working to establish Iqbal-Goethe Center in Heidelberg. pic.twitter.com/KtfsEBBWfb
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 31, 2021
– Meeting –
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his German counterpart Heiko Maas exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations.
The foreign minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and stressed that the safety of Afghans and an inclusive political settlement was important.
He said being the immediate neighbour which suffered for 40 years from conflict and instability next door, Pakistan considered peaceful and stable Afghanistan of vital importance.
He stressed immediate steps to address the humanitarian needs and ensure sustained economic stability.
The foreign minister said measures must be taken to stabilize the security situation, preserve peace, and preclude any mass exodus.
He added that positive engagement with Afghanistan would help advance these shared objectives.
Noting the strong momentum in Pakistan-Germany relations, Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled the two visits by the Foreign Ministers in April 2021, their telephonic conversation of 21 August, and other high-level exchanges.
Qureshi also apprised the German foreign minister of his recent visit to neighboring countries of Afghanistan and his interaction with various foreign ministers.
The foreign minister added that Pakistan has been extending all possible support to foreign governments and international organizations in evacuation of their diplomatic personnel, nationals and others from Afghanistan.
In the context of bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction over growing cooperation in diverse fields.
Stressing the high value Pakistan attached to its relations with Germany, the foreign minister underscored the resolve to comprehensively upgrade the overall relationship.
The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany. A range of events are envisaged by the two countries to celebrate this milestone in a befitting manner.
The German foreign minister planted a sapling of pine in the lawns of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.