ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held that Pakistan as neighbors of Afghanistan did not have the choice of getting up and leave like (US, UK and) others.
“Some have the choice of getting up and leaving but we do not. We are neighbors we have to coexist. Geography ties us together so our approach has to be somewhat different, realistic,” FM Qureshi said while talking to journalists at a joint Presser with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab held here on Friday 3rd of September, 2021.
FM Qureshi pointing out that 20,000 to 25000 people cross the Pak-Afghan border daily, asked: “Can we block them? No, we can’t. Can we regulate them? Yes, we should. Are there risks? Yes, there are organisations there that are not friendly to you or us or anyone so we have to guard against that as well…
“The bulk of Afghanistan’s trade passes through Pakistan so could the latter close its border with the former? Would Pakistan be contributing to any ensuing humanitarian crisis as a result? If we have to trade with them then who do we talk to? Engaging with any authority who is in charge is a compulsion that we have to deal with.”
Reiterating that Pakistan had no favorites in Afghanistan reminded that Pakistan: “We will engage with a government that has the backing of the people of Afghanistan. Our focus is on and we want to help the people of Afghanistan because we feel they have suffered for decades and there is a real opportunity for peace after 40 years”.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The approach we are taking is that we don’t recognize the Taliban as a government…but we do see the importance of being able to engage and have a direct line of communication, the reason being that there is a whole range of issues that need to be discussed including the question of safe passage of British nationals and the Afghans who worked for the UK government.”
Commenting on the issue of keeping Pakistan on the UK’s travel red list Raab said that he understood its impact on peoples of both the countries. Pointing towards meeting on Monday (6th of September, 2021) between (SAPM on Health) Dr Faisal Sultan and the UK team he said: “No one wants Pakistan off the red list more than I do but we take these decisions on a technical level. I think the smart thing for us to do is to work together to enable that to happen as soon, as safely and as responsibly as can be done.” Meanwhile, he commended the efforts of the Govt of Pakistan to contain the Pandemic.
FM Qureshi, while speaking about FATF said: “Pakistan is very keen to get out of the grey list and we have taken concrete administrative and legislative steps that are being recognized today by the world. I have urged the foreign secretary to be supportive of Pakistan on the steps that we have taken”.
Raab, maintaining that it was for India and Pakistan to find a long-lasting political solution of Kashmir problem said: “We encourage both sides to maintain a constructive dialogue.”
Newspakistan.tv | YouTube Channel