On Wednesday, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan received a call from his British counterpart, Boris Johnson. They exchanged views on the rapidly changing environment of Kabul and especially with regards to the safety of the Afghan and foreign civilians.
He also asserted the need for ensuring the safety, security and respect for rights of all Afghans. PM Imran also underscored the importance of an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.
— Prime Minister's Office (@PakPMO) August 17, 2021
The PM highlighted the rigorous efforts and positive role of Pakistan in facilitating the safe evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations and others from Afghanistan. The two prime ministers agreed to remain in contact concerning the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
“The prime minister [Johnson] stressed his commitment to work with international partners to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan and the wider region,” a Downing Street spokesperson said after the call with PM Imran.
We have an enduring commitment to the Afghan people, and we will honour it.
A new resettlement scheme will create a safe and legal route for those in most need to come and live safely in the UK.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) August 18, 2021
In the bilateral context, the Prime Minister highlighted the extensive measures taken by Pakistan to contain the Covid-19, noted that the relevant data had been shared with the UK side, and called for the removal of Pakistan from the Red List.
Previously British MPs and Pakistan had vehemently opposed the UK for not removing Pakistan from its travel red list
Earlier, PM Imran Khan had also received a phone call from German councillor Angela Merkel who acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts. PM Khan told her that the international community must remain committed and engaged with Afghanistan. This week, the Danish Prime Minister also called PM Imran Khan. He thanked him for Pakistan’s support in the timely and safe evacuation of Danish personnel from Kabul.
Currently, the UK has signalled for an emergency G7 meeting in Afghanistan that has also called for Russia and China to join. The UK reaching out to Pakistan for its commitments in Afghanistan can be a step towards Pakistan embracing a seat at the G7 someday.
Pakistan has received much attention for its honest and positive role amidst chaos in Kabul. Despite being an active actor in the international community, Pakistan has been blocked by the Indian presidency at the United Nations security council (UNSC).
Pakistan has been consistently taking the first step to stabilise the region, so while there are setbacks on diplomatic fronts at the UNSC, the international community is still acknowledging Pakistani efforts.