What did Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi tell US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Afghanistan peace deal?
ISLAMABAD - Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday while congratulating the Taliban and the US leadership over Afghan peace deal urged all the parties to beware of the spoilers and not to let them overcome the peace process.
“We cannot neglect it. Spoilers are there, both in Afghanistan and outside Afghanistan. All of you will have to keep strict vigilance on those spoilers,” the foreign minister said addressing a press briefing after his return from Doha where he represented Pakistan in the signing ceremony of Afghan peace deal.
He told media persons that after the signing ceremony, he had interacted with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and had called for devising a mechanism to identify and blame and shame the spoilers who would play any negative role.
He said after the peace deal, it was test of the Afghan leadership as whether they would show flexibility and take decisions beyond their own interests.
He said the leadership coming from various countries had lauded Pakistan’s facilitative role in the peace process even those who used to criticize Pakistan in the past.
Qureshi said he also asked Pompeo to maintain the positive momentum to keep the peace process moving through different confidence building measures like the release of prisoners as had also been committed in the agreement.
He said the intra-Afghan dialogue should not be delayed unnecessarily to keep the people’s hopes alive and that the political uncertainties should also be addressed inside Afghanistan to not let it overcome the process.
Moreover, he said the United States would have to mobilize the support and resources for post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan and return of refugees from Pakistan.
He also briefed media about his meetings with the counterparts from Central Asian States, Turkey, Norway and Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and stressed for enhancement of regional connectivity and trade cooperation.
To a question, the foreign minister said the release of prisoners was logical as it was essential to take the process forward.
He hoped that Ashraf Ghani would act prudently and not overlook the importance of optics in this process.
He said Pakistan always wished well for the Afghan peace process but the basic decisions would have to be made by the Afghans for the future of their country.
Asked about the US expectations from Pakistan, the foreign minister said Pakistan took decisions in its own interests as the country would be the net beneficiary of Afghan peace deal that would enhance the bilateral economic activity besides paving way for completion of TAPI, CASA-1000 and other projects.
The foreign minister said he realized that the course of Afghan peace was not a smooth sailing rather there would be hiccups as were experienced to reach the stage of the peace deal.
He feared that some forces would impede the course but hoped that the international community would put in their efforts to overcome the negative forces.
He said on its side, Pakistan had successfully dismantled the terrorist networks, revived peace, merged the tribal areas into mainstream KP with restoration of health and education facilities. He said fencing of the Afghan border was also in progress and after completion, Pakistan would be able to fight and keep vigilance on anti-state force more effectively.
To a question about the situation in Kashmir, he said the world’s mindset was changing towards what was happening in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the world leaders and parliaments were speaking up and criticizing the situation in the occupied valley as well as in New Delhi.