Pakistan wants 'responsible withdrawal' of US troops from Afghanistan: FM Qureshi

Updated February 29, 2020

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in a meeting in Doha on Feb 29, 2020. — FO
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in a meeting in Doha on Feb 29, 2020. — FO

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that Pakistan wants a "responsible withdrawal" of US troops from Afghanistan.

He made the comments in Doha, where he was invited to witness a peace deal between the United States and Afghanistan.

“It's an important day,” Qureshi told Reuters. “Hopefully it will set the tone for peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

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In a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad hours before the official signing of the agreement, Qureshi expressed hopes that the peace deal will pave the way for intra-Afghan dialogue, according to a press release from the Foreign Office.

Khalilzad apprised Qureshi of the latest developments in terms of the Afghan peace deal, the FO statement said.

"Pakistan will continue its efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan," Qureshi said, adding that the world will need to help Afghanistan in the rebuilding and restoration of its land.

Earlier, in a meeting with members of the Pakistani community in Qatar, Radio Pakistan reported Qureshi as saying that the peace agreement between the United States and Afghan Taliban will open new avenues of development in the region.

"Peace in Afghanistan will open up our links with Central Asia," Qureshi said, adding that the future will hold numerous opportunities for promoting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.