Disengaging with Afghanistan 'disadvantageous' for world, PM Imran says

Published December 15, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday chaired the second meeting of the apex committee on Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy: PMO
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday chaired the second meeting of the apex committee on Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy: PMO

Prime Minister Imran Khan stated on Wednesday that Pakistan would provide all-out support to Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian crisis, adding that disengaging with the war-torn country would be "disadvantageous" for the world.

The premier expressed these views while chairing the second meeting of the apex committee on Afghanistan, according to a handout issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Adviser to the Prime Minster on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and other senior civil and military officers also attended the meeting.

"The prime minister expressed the hope that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging with Afghanistan. He urged the international community to support the vulnerable people of Afghanistan," the statement said.

"Pakistan will support the Afghan people in every possible way to avert a humanitarian crisis," the statement quoted him as saying. PM Imran also highlighted that Pakistan had already committed to providing humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion, which included food commodities and emergency medical supplies.

The committee was told that, as per the directions of the premier, the facility of free Covid-19 vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders was underway. "The process of obtaining a Pakistani visa has been simplified for Afghans," the statement said.

The prime minister also instructed officials to facilitate humanitarian organisations wishing to work from Pakistan to support efforts in Afghanistan as "Pakistan has already committed to being the air and land bridge for humanitarian support to Afghanistan," the statement said.

The participants of the committee reiterated their concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and emphasised that Pakistan will not abandon the people of the country in their time of need.

"On Sunday, Pakistan is hosting an extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's foreign ministers in Islamabad to highlight the plight of vulnerable Afghan people in these testing times and to discuss ways for helping them," the statement concluded.

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