World considers Pakistan as part of the solution

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Ansar M Bhatti

ISLAMABAD:  Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the world considers Pakistan as part of the solution and not part of the problem when it comes to a peaceful and negotiated solution of the long-standing Afghanistan imbroglio.

The foreign minister said this while addressing a press conference on Friday.

He further said, Pakistan would always want a peaceful Afghanistan and therefore be part all efforts meant towards this goal. He added, Pakistan is all agog to work with the stakeholders in order to achieve early and lasting peace in Afghanistan.

To a question about Turkish role in Afghanistan, the foreign minister said, Turkey as coalition partner wants to retain its role in the Kabul airport management. Things are at early stage now and we are waiting for the Turkish authorities to come up with plans in this regard. He made it clear Taliban they have to see the reaction of Taliban as well regarding Turkish plans of having control of the Kabul Airport.

FM Qureshi added, he was not privy to any development regarding deployment of peace keeping troops in the region.

Qureshi emphasized that the Afghans, including the government and Taliban, needed to sit together. “Whatever the outcome evolves out of their negotiations, Pakistan would respect that,” he added, saying that “We will remain the partners of peace and not conflict”.

Asked about the blame-game against Pakistan ahead of the meeting between U.S. president Joe Biden and Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, he said, “They [Afghan government representatives] can say whatever they want, but the U.S. knows Pakistan’s role very well and the world is oblivious to our role”. Foreign Minister said as Kashmiris wanted a full-fledged restoration of statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, the claim of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to fulfill such demand “at some opportune time” was entirely “vague and against the interest of Kashmiris”.

He termed the meeting between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi with Kashmiri leader minus the All Parties Hurriyat Conference a “staged drama and a public relation exercise” to cover the illegal acts of August 5.

“This was a failed attempt on part of the Indian prime minister to mend the tarnished image of his government following the illegal acts of revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir,” the foreign minister said here at a press conference.

The foreign minister was referring to Thursday’s meeting where Narendra Modi met political figures from Occupied Jammu and Kashmir – the first high-level engagement since August 2019 when India revoked the region’s autonomy by scrapping Article 370 of its constitution and ended the special status of J&K.

He said the all-parties conference called by the Indian prime minister exposed the tall claims about normalcy of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir ended up in failure.

He said there existed a wide gulf between the aspirations of Bhartiya Janta Party government and the true representative of Kashmiris who remained “in search of their identity and the basic right of self-determination.