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Pakistan assures its continued support for lasting peace in Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office has said that Pakistan will continue to work together with the International Community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Responding to media queries on Thursday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that we have seen the statement of the US President Joe Biden announcing that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will start on May 1, 2021 and will be completed by September 11, 2021.

The Spokespersons said that 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.” He said.

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

Chaudhri said that in our view, it is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress in the peace process.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson expressed 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, he said.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri added that we also hope the US will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan.

The Spokesperson said that 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 said.

“A meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in the post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability,” he added.

The Spokesperson said that Pakistan believes that another key feature in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan should be a time-bound and well-resourced plan for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan.

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