Pakistan’s advice to US over troops withdrawal from Afghanistan
ISTANBUL –Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday reiterated US systematic withdrawal from Afghanistan to prevent what happened back in the 90s.
Speaking with a Turkish news agency at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Qureshi said the withdrawal of US troops should be carried out in a responsible way. Adding that ‘If the US withdrawal is not systematic, we are concerned that war torn Afghanistan may get sucked into the situation that we experienced in the 1990s when there was anarchy, civil war, and instability.
Foreign Minister, who is on a three-day trip to Turkey nowadays, said ‘Afghans have paid the biggest price and second to the Afghans are the Pakistanis. We lost 83,000 lives on account of terrorism. Our economy has suffered close to over $128 billion.'
He opined that Pakistan could only facilitate the process, but the ownership and the responsibility now lie on the Afghan leadership saying that they had to sit together and decide on their future.
‘Pakistan has always been very comfortable with Turkey’, he responded to Turkish forces taking over a security role in Afghanistan as the US withdraws from the country. ‘I would like to know how Turkey is foreseeing the future. Turkey is an important regional power. We hold meetings regularly, he further added.
Underlining that Turkey and Pakistan have similar views on this issue, he said there is a rising trend of hate speech, discrimination, and targeting of Muslims in the West. We collectively feel that we need to combat this growing menace, Qureshi added.