Qureshi urges patience, perseverance, flexibility during Afghan peace talks

Foreign minister says Pakistan has always called for a non-military and political solution to Afghan conflict

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday, while terming a peaceful Afghanistan “indispensable” for Pakistan, urged the parties intra-Afghan negotiations to show patience, perseverance and flexibility to achieve success.
“It is important for the negotiating parties to demonstrate requisite patience, perseverance and sense of purpose. It is imperative to engage constructively, negotiate with flexibility and mutual accommodation,” the foreign minister said in his virtual address at the webinar on Afghan Peace Process and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The webinar was held by Islamabad Policy Research Institute and Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies of Uzbekistan.
The foreign minister stressed that the Afghan leadership must seize this historic opportunity to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.
He said that, during the last four decades, the people of Afghanistan immensely suffered owing to instability in their country and as a neighbouring country, Pakistan also suffered heavily.
However, he continued, the start of the Afghan peace process had created a ray of hope to put an end to the conflict and restore peace in the country.
He hoped that second round of intra-Afghan dialogue currently going on in Doha would make positive headway in the agenda.
Qureshi said that Pakistan always called for a non-military and political solution to Afghan conflict which was substantiated after a consensus among the parties for seeking a solution through dialogue.
He said Pakistan not only supported the peace process but also made positive efforts to take the process to this level.
The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan had no “favourite” in Afghanistan, rather the country would respect the outcome of intra-Afghan negotiations. However, he stressed the need for exercising caution against the role of spoilers in the process.
Qureshi sought the world community’s role to seek a reduction of violence, continuous advancement on a political settlement, and devise a strategy for rehabilitation and economic development in the post-conflict era.
He said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation could prove to be an important platform to bring about peace and stability in Afghanistan as four of its member states shared border with the country.
The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan and the SCO shared views for durable Afghan peace and stability and called for continuity of pace in intra-Afghan negotiations.

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