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‘No favourites in Afghanistan’, FO clarifies Qureshi’s remarks on IS and Taliban

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated that it was not siding with any party in Afghanistan after a section of media “misquoted” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent remarks regarding Islamic State (IS) – also known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish – and Afghan Taliban.

“It is regrettable that certain sections of the media have misquoted and twisted the foreign minister’s remarks about the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a statement issued on Monday.

The clarification comes after the foreign minister, in a press conference last week, had said that it was the responsibility of Afghan government to look into the reports that IS militants from Syria and Iraq were moving into Afghanistan.

He added that no stakeholder including Afghan government and Taliban wanted Da’ish to establish its roots in the war-torn country.

The spokesperson said FM Qureshi clearly spoke about consensus among the international community, the regional players and the Afghans themselves against the menace of terrorism.

“His remarks cannot be in anyway be misconstrued as advocacy for a particular side in the Afghan conflict,” he added.

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