‘Malicious campaign’ on Afghan peace efforts, Pakistan takes up matter with Canada

FO regrets media reports misquoting FM’s remarks on Taliban, Daesh

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ISLAMABAD, condemning the remarks of a former Canadian minister, Pakistan has taken up matter with the government of Canada against the ‘motivated and malicious smear campaign’ regarding its efforts for Afghanistan peace process.

“The matter has been taken up with the Canadian side,” the Foreign Office said in a tweet early Monday.

The FO said, “We have urged the Canadian authorities to take steps to address this motivated and malicious smear campaign.”

“We strongly condemn the unwarranted comments by former Canadian Minister Chris Alexander, making unfounded and misleading assertions about Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process,” it said.

Foreign Office said “such remarks betray a complete lack of understanding of the issue as well as ignorance of facts on ground”

It mentioned that “such gratuitous commentary was deplorable” at the time when the world acknowledged what Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan consistently maintained that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and also stressed an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

The Foreign Office spokesperson on Monday regretted a certain section of media for misquoting and twisting the remarks of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi about the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.

 

FO Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in response to media queries on the foreign minister’s comments regarding Daesh and Taliban said, “His remarks cannot be in anyway be misconstrued as advocacy for a particular side in the Afghan conflict”.

“In fact, the Foreign Minister clearly spoke about consensus among the international community, the regional players and the Afghans themselves against the menace of terrorism,” the FO Spokesperson said.

He said: “We have repeatedly stated that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan. We see all sides in the conflict as Afghans who need to decide about their future themselves.”

He said Pakistan would continue to play a constructive facilitation role in the Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan reiterates that right now, all energies should be focused on finding an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan,” he added.

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