Pakistan hopes Afghan regime will help control terror: Bilawal

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that Pakistan has not only been constantly monitoring the situation in Afghanistan but working on its side to ensure that they could “try to tackle the threat of terrorism. He said: “We hope that the regime in Afghanistan lives up to their international commitment to not allow their soil to be used for terrorism”.

“Pakistan is looking towards the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to play its role in discouraging the increase of terrorist activity at the border of the two countries.”

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed the views during an interview with CNN’s Christiana Amanpour. The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan is to not only keenly monitoring the situation but works on its side to “try to tackle the threat of terrorism.”

Replying to a question regarding what it will take for Pakistan to accept the current administration in Kabul, the FM said that any decision in this would be taken in line with the discussions with the international community.

“We continue to advocate for engagement, particularly in the light of the humanitarian crisis developing in Afghanistan”, he further added.

To a question if Islamabad had engaged with the Afghan Taliban on how Muslim countries can give rights to women, Bilawal declared that the issue was not of the West.

“I see women’s rights or women’s rights to education as rights granted to us in Islam. We’ll be emphasising that the Taliban keep their international commitments and ensure rights to the women of Afghanistan,” he said.

After the interviewer’s remark that the US believed Pakistan had played a “very dangerous role” in supporting the Afghan Taliban over the decades, the minister maintained that Pakistan had consistently engaged with Afghanistan regardless of who was in power.

“We have always been advocates of the fact that alongside action against terrorist activity, the resolution of the dispute was in dialogue and diplomacy and ultimately, despite Pakistan being at the receiving end of criticism for maintaining and sustaining this position, the international community went down that route while resolving the conflict and issues in Afghanistan.”

He furthered that the advances in Kabul have had a direct impact on the lives of the people of Pakistan.

“We must prioritise, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, ensure there’s no economic collapse and hold the Taliban regime to the international commitments. It was not Pakistan, but the US who had direct communication with the Taliban regime before their takeover of Kabul. Pakistan and international community believe it will not serve any of our interests if we abandon the people of Afghanistan once again,” he said.

 

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