Pakistan reacts over the US troops withdrawal programme from Afghanistan

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Pakistan reacts over the US troops withdrawal programme from Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan stressed on Thursday that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan should coincide with the progress in the peace process.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri stated this in response to the statement of US President Joe Biden announcing that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan will start on 1 May 2021 and will be completed by 11 September 2021.

“Pakistan has been consistently supporting and facilitating the efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. We believe there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is important for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the FO statement read.

Towards this end, the U.S.-Taliban Agreement of 29 February 2020 laid foundation for a comprehensive intra-Afghan peace agreement including a permanent ceasefire for bringing an end to violence in Afghanistan.

“We hope that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress towards a negotiated political settlement.

“In this regard, we support the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stake-holders. We also hope the U.S. will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan.”

“Pakistan has consistently reiterated that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in our interest. Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan,” Chaudhri added.