Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed a virtual meeting in Afghanistan on Wednesday. He stressed that the prevention of a humanitarian crisis and economic meltdown in Afghanistan were key priorities in the evolving developments in the country that now has an interim government.
The virtual meeting included foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbours — China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — to coordinate and discuss the situation emerging in Afghanistan.
“If a humanitarian crisis is prevented and economic stability is assured, then peace can be consolidated and a mass exodus precluded,” Qureshi said.
He stressed that the efforts required the enhanced engagement of the international community at this “pivotal juncture”.
“Renewed diplomatic and international presence in the country would reassure the Afghan people,” he added.
The situation in Afg remains complex & fluid. We hope the political situation stabilises leading to normalcy, soon. The new reality requires us to discard old lenses, develop new insights & proceed w/ a realistic/pragmatic approach https://t.co/FYrbrflCbN
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) September 8, 2021
FM Qureshi emphasis on the urgent allocation of humanitarian assistance with the UN and reinforce the confidence-building process. He reminded the neighbours that Afghanistan needed financial growth to prevent economic collapse.
The entire region has been “catapulted” into the global spotlight, adding that “how the situation evolves will have profound implications for Afghanistan, our region and the world at large”.
“It is clear that no one could anticipate the recent turn of events from the meltdown of security forces to the collapse of the Afghanistan government…All previous assessments and predictions proved wrong,” he said.
FM Qureshi pointed out that the situation still remains “fluid” and that all states are “grappling with the changed reality in Afghanistan” so he hoped for political normalcy and support.
“The new situation requires discarding old lenses, developing new insights and proceeding with a realistic and pragmatic approach. At the centre of our endeavours must remain the well-being of the Afghan people who have suffered enormously due to conflict and instability for over 40 years.”
FM Qureshi highlighted his previous diplomacy tour to the Central Asian States and Iran last month.”We agreed on charting a way forward that would help address common challenges and realise the opportunities that may arise out of the latest developments,” he said.
He said the discussions were concluded with a cooperative framework on the security of borders, prevention of Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists, curtailing narcotrafficking, and curbing other blockades to regional integration.
“We also agreed there are rich dividends if peace is secured in Afghanistan,”
Afghanistan will have to overcome these hurdles “and realise its full potential” in order for a connected region to exist.
He suggested that this virtual set-up can be utilised as a regular consultative platform for all countries present.
“The neighbouring countries have a direct stake in Afghanistan’s stability. Our collective voice to the international community will reinforce our message of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbours,” he explained.