Pakistan not responsible for Ashraf Ghani-led government in Afghanistan: FO

Pakistan strongly condemns terrorist attack on Nigerian military base in Borno

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The Foreign Office said that Pakistan could not be held responsible for the failure of the ousted Ashraf Ghani-led government in Afghanistan, and stressed that Islamabad was playing a constructive role in facilitating peace and stability in the neighbouring country.

Reacting to a resolution of the European Parliament on the situation in Afghanistan, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that the Ghani-led government had unfortunately squandered the opportunity offered by the Doha peace deal.

“Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the failure of the Ghani government, and its causes that were internal to Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said. He regretted the allegations levelled against Pakistan in the EU resolution.

The EU alleged in the resolution that Pakistan was “assisting the Taliban” in fighting the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) in the Panjshir Valley “by supplying its special forces and providing air support”.

Iftikhar said that Pakistan was disappointed at the “unwarranted and negative references” which were 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,” he said.

The spokesperson said after Afghanistan, Pakistan has been the biggest victim of decades of the conflict and over the years, Islamabad 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 in economic losses,” the spokesperson said. “A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is therefore in the best interest of Pakistan,” he added.

Iftikhar mentioned that Pakistan had 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 organisations, and others from Afghanistan.

“This has also been acknowledged by the 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,” he said.

Earlier, Speaking to Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, during a phone call, according to the Foreign Office, Qureshi emphasised that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was of paramount importance for Pakistan and the region.

During phone call, initiated by Garneau, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan. Qureshi apprised his counterpart of his regional outreach efforts regarding the situation in the neighbouring country.

Qureshi also briefed Garneau about the humanitarian support provided by Pakistan, including establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the delivery of relief goods and in-kind assistance by Pakistan for its Afghan brethren through air and land routes.

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