Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the failure of the Ghani government: Asim Iftikhar

Ansar Bhatti

ISLAMABAD, SEPT 17 (DNA) – Asim Iftikhar Ahmed the Spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed dismay over Resolution adopted by the European Parliament on the situation in Afghanistan. While the resolution does not relate to Pakistan, we are disappointed at the unwarranted and negative references to Pakistan, he said in his statement.

He said, this is not consistent with the cooperative relations between Pakistan and the EU.   Pakistan has played and continues to play a constructive role in facilitating peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s key contribution towards the Doha peace process and subsequent Intra-Afghan Negotiations has been widely acknowledged by the international community.

 Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the failure of the Ghani government, and its causes that were internal to Afghanistan. The opportunity offered by the Doha Peace Deal was unfortunately squandered.

After Afghanistan, Pakistan itself has been the biggest victim of the decades of conflict in Afghanistan. Over the years, Pakistan has contributed immensely to the success of the international community’s fight against terrorism. Of all the countries of the world, Pakistan has suffered the most – with over 80,000 casualties and more than 150 billion US dollars in economic losses. We continue to host over 4 million Afghan refugees, the world’s largest protracted refugee population. A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is therefore in the best interest of Pakistan.

Pakistan has offered unparalleled support and facilitated the international community, including the EU and its member states in evacuating their diplomats, local staff of the EU Missions in Afghanistan, staff of international organizations and others from Afghanistan. This has also been acknowledged by the visiting Foreign Ministers of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and also other European Foreign Ministers during their telephonic conversations with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.  We continue to extend invaluable support and assistance to the international community in this regard.  We are providing humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people and also facilitating international humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.

Pakistan also remains proactively engaged with a range of partners including from the EU for constructive exchange of views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and the best way forward.

GSP Plus is a mutually beneficial undertaking. Pakistan remains fully committed to the effective implementation of the 27 international conventions, implementation of which is the basis for according GSP Plus status. We are closely engaged with the European Commission in this regard.=DNA