ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his German counterpart Heiko Maas pictured during their presser on Tuesday.—Tanveer Shahzad / White Star
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his German counterpart Heiko Maas pictured during their presser on Tuesday.—Tanveer Shahzad / White Star

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Germany on Tuesday emphasised the need for formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The call was made during a joint press conference by foreign ministers of the two countries at the Foreign Office.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ visit to Pakistan was part of his regional trip on Afghanistan and coincided with the completion of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Mr Maas said it was important that the new government represented even the non-Taliban segments of the Afghan society and that it was important for the Taliban to understand that.

Visiting FM holds talks with PM, Qureshi, Bajwa

FM Qureshi too stressed the need for formation of an inclusive government.

“We want an inclusive government in Afghanistan,” he asserted.

Taliban have begun consultations for formation of the government.

“In an announcement issued by the group, its leadership council led by Hibatullah Akhundzada held three-day-long consultations on the formation of the new government that started on Saturday.

However, little has been heard about Taliban’s talks with other political figures and groups in Afghanistan. Progress in these negotiations is important for progressing to inclusive government.

The German foreign minister expressed the hope that Taliban, who took control of Kabul on Aug 15, would soon form a government there.

He, however, sounded sceptical about commitments made by the Tal­iban regarding governance, human rights and other similar issues.

“We will see in the coming days and weeks whether one can trust their word,” Mr Maas said.

Mr Qureshi, meanwhile, welcomed Taliban’s commitments.

Talking to the German foreign minister during a bilateral meeting, he said that statements made by the Taliban leadership regarding the end of the war, respect for human rights, preventing use of Afghan territory against other countries and formation of an inclusive government, were encouraging.

He called on the international community not to abandon Afghanistan or a humanitarian crisis could emerge.

“The cooperation of the international community is essential to save Afghanistan from human tragedy,” he said.

Pakistan on Monday announced the formation of a humanitarian air bridge for carrying essential supplies to Afghanistan. PIA, the national flag carrier, in the first flight shipped World Health Organisation’s consignment to Mazar-i-Sharif.

Meanwhile, the German foreign minister met Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed the situation in Afghanistan.

Talking to FM Maas, the prime minister underlined that urgent steps were needed to stabilise the security situation, address humanitarian needs, and ensure economic stability of Afghanistan.

These would require sustained engagement with Afghanistan, he said. He said that Pakistan and Germany should work closely for the promotion of shared interests relating to regional peace and stability.

Mr Maas also called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.

“During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, overall regional security situation including latest developments in Afghanistan and bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed,” the ISPR said.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2021

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