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FM Qureshi says Afghan peace important but next few months crucial

As more than 50 percent of foreign troops leave Afghanistan, the chances of deadlock have increased which will lead to chaos.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said Pakistan would continue to stand with Afghanistan for its peace and stability.

“Peace in Afghanistan is of utmost importance to Pakistan as well as the entire region,” the foreign minister said in his comments on the current situation in Afghanistan.

Qureshi said the world today was acknowledging the efforts of Pakistan to bring peace in Afghanistan.

He said the next few months were crucial regarding Afghanistan as the things had prospects to either get resolved or further get deteriorated.

He said the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan had been completed by 50 percent as the process continued.

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The foreign minister emphasized that the Afghan leadership had a responsibility to work together to find a political solution to the conflict, given the fragility of the situation.

He regretted that the decades-long war in Afghanistan had already taken a heavy toll on the country.

If the situation in Afghanistan becomes similar to that of 1990s or in case a civil war breaks out, it will cause further damage to Afghans, he added.

Recalling his meeting with the delegation of Afghan intellectuals during its visit to Pakistan, Qureshi said he apprised them of Pakistan’s point of view on Afghan peace.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan had a clear understanding that both would not allow their soils to be used against each other or by a third party.

247 casualties in May

Violence has surged in the war-weary country since the US announced its troops will leave by Sept. 11, picking up again over the past few weeks following a three-day truce between Kabul and the Taliban for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr earlier this month.

There have been fierce clashes between security forces and the Taliban this week in the eastern Laghman province that borders Kabul, with officials saying well over 2,000 families have been displaced by the fighting.

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Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said on Sunday it has documented 247 civilian casualties allegedly caused by the Taliban in May, a claim that was swiftly rejected by the insurgents.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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