FM Qureshi cautions world against abandoning Afghanistan

Published September 2, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R) and Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag address a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi Twitter
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R) and Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag address a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi Twitter
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi touching elbows with his Dutch counterpart Sigrid Kaag on her arrival at the Foreign Office on Wednesday.—White Star
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi touching elbows with his Dutch counterpart Sigrid Kaag on her arrival at the Foreign Office on Wednesday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qur­eshi on Wednesday aga­in cautioned the world against abandoning Afghanistan after Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

“Such a move would have dangerous consequences and no one would be spared,” the foreign minister said at a me­dia conference with his Dutch counterpart Sigrid Kaag after their mee­ting at the Foreign Office.

Mr Qureshi said that following completion of the evacuation process all eyes were on the formation of the next government in Afghanistan and people would now assess how inclusive it was and then formulate their reaction.

The international community has unequivocally made it clear that it would only recognise an inclusive dispensation representing all people of Afghanistan.

Initial signs from Afghanistan about prospects of establishment of an inclusive setup are not very bright. Such a situation could pose challenges for the new Afghan administration with regard to its international recognition.

Mr Qureshi, however, emphasised that the world needed to be conscious of humanitarian requirements of Afghanistan and strive to prevent an economic collapse there.

He said he was seeing a lot of Western interest in the developments in Afghanistan and hoped that this interest would stay beyond the initial phase.

FM Kaag said that Nether­lands had a longstanding commitment to Afghanistan and it would remain intact.

“I’m here to reinforce the message that we will continue to focus in and on Afghanistan … we are a long time contributor,” she maintained, adding that Netherlands was mindful of humanitarian requirements of Afghanistan.

She said that Netherlands annually provided 50 to 60 million euros to Afghanistan and it would maintain the same level of assistance, which would be channeled through UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Ms Kaag said that foreign ministers of the European Union were meeting on Friday and they would not only discuss the heightened terror threat because of developments in Afghan­istan, but also look at the humanitarian requirements.

In a related development, Foreign Minister Qureshi received a video phone call on Wednesday from his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau.

The two foreign ministers, the Foreign Office said, reviewed the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021

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