Qureshi cautions West of serious consequences in abandoning Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD (APP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday cautioned the West of the serious consequences of abandoning Afghanistan which could result in the civil war and economic collapse.

In an interview with Sky News, the foreign minister stressed upon the West to engage with the Taliban because otherwise, Afghanistan could descend into another chaos.

He said it ‘will give space to the organizations we all dread: the international terrorist organizations that we do not want their footprint to grow in Afghanistan.”

“That’s a dangerous option. That’s an option of abandonment of Afghan people,” he said, adding such a mistake was committed during the 90s.

Qureshi urged the international community not to repeat the same mistake again.

To a query regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces, Qureshi said that there was a failure to listen to Pakistan’s concerns as the withdrawal process was not “responsible or orderly”.

Pakistan was persistently emphasizing that peace and dialogue processes and withdrawal of foreign forces should be simultaneously carried out, he added.

The foreign minister termed the initial statements from the Taliban leadership as positive and encouraging, adding the West should test them to make sure they were true to their word.

He expressed the hope that the Taliban would act responsibly.

“They should have learned from their mistakes,” he said, adding “And I think the attitude and the approach they are taking is reflective of a different approach.”

“If they’re sensible, they should, in my view, respect the international opinion and international norms,” the foreign minister further added.

The minister opined that Afghans would need humanitarian and financial assistance, otherwise, there would be an economic collapse.

The foreign minister to a question maintained that baseless allegations had always been leveled against Pakistan regarding the Taliban.

Taliban were present in Afghanistan, they were leading Doha talks and had been in control of forty to forty-five percent of Afghanistan prior to their takeover, he added.

Qureshi said Pakistan had been hosting millions of Afghan refugees on its soil for the last four decades.

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