Pakistan responds over reports of US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan responds over reports of US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and will continue playing its role to bring stability in the neighboring country.

Talking to media in Multan on Saturday, he said Pakistan is providing all out facilitation for negotiated settlement of Afghan conflict. Foreign Minister said it is a good thing that the US and Taliban have agreed to sit together to hold talks with each other. He said progress was noted in some dialogue sessions held in Abu Dhabi recently and stakeholders have expressed readiness to progress ahead.

On the US decision of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, he said the decision will lead to peace in the neighboring country.

Replying to a question on worsening human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan has consistently been raising the issue at all international fora. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan called UN Secretary General and drew his attention towards the plight of Kashmiris.

In his telephonic call, the Prime Minister impressed upon the UN Chief to use his influence over India to stop the abuses of human rights in held territory.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the use of excessive force by India is further deteriorating the situation. He said UN Human Rights report and British House of Commons report both note the use of pellet guns and other brutal methods to suppress the voice of freedom of Kashmiris, endorsing Pakistan's point of view. Qureshi said he himself wrote letters to OIC and the United Nations to highlight the barbaric treatment meted out to innocent Kashmiris by occupied forces. Consequently, OIC issued a strong statement and expressed grave concern over the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.

On another question, Shah Mehmood Qureshi dispelled the impression that talks are being held with the US to release Dr. Shakeel Afridi in exchange for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.

He told a questioner, that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was given full opportunity by the courts to defend his case. He said the courts are free to make their decisions and will serve the justice.