Pakistan asks Germany to ‘remain engaged with Afghanistan’

ISLAMABAD: 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 the 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 destroying region’s peace,” he said.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany in the 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 the broader context, there was a need for formulation of a common strategy by neighboring countries for a 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 the cooperation and receiving information from Pakistan, being the immediate neighbor of Afghanistan.

Maas thanked Pakistan for successfully managing the evacuation of German nationals and local staff and their safe airlift from Afghanistan. TF Report

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