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Taliban have assured that Afghan soil would not be used against any country, Shah Mahmood Qureshi

 Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that the Taliban have assured that Afghan soil would not be used against any country.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, he said that Pakistan is playing its full role for stability in the neighboring country and 3,234 Pakistani and foreign nationals have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

The minister said that a stable Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region.

Qureshi went on to say that Pakistan is providing all possible assistance for safe evacuation of foreign nationals, diplomats, media persons, and members of International Non-Governmental Organizations from Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan embassy in Kabul is working round the clock and our embassy staff is in contact with the Afghan people and the concerned officials to ensure security and safe transportation of people, who intend to go outside Afghanistan.

The FM said so far 542 foreign nationals and 91 Pakistani citizens have been evacuated through five PIA flights.

In addition to that, Pakistan granted 56 permissions of over flights, including landing facility to various international airlines, which conducted around 133 sorties.

He said Pakistan is trying to facilitate movement of evacuees and a facilitation center has been established at Islamabad Airport; besides, setting up a Crisis Cell at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this purpose.

“Pakistan is also granting on arrival visas to foreign nationals and so far 409 people have benefited of this facility,” the FM said and added situation in Kabul is quite and calm, but certainly there is a pressure around the Kabul Airport.

The Minister said he talked to foreign ministers of various countries, including Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, who appreciated Pakistan s role for peace in Afghanistan and safe evacuation of foreign nationals from there. 

He said I also briefed the Secretary General of OIC and the foreign minister of the European Union about the evolving situation in Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan has also assured Saudi Arabia for all possible assistance and facilitation in relocation of its embassy from Kabul to Islamabad for the time being.

Responding to a question, the FM said the entire world wants peace in Afghanistan, but it is unfortunate that India is playing the role of a spoiler in this regard. He said India and the Indian media should demonstrate a responsible approach for peace in Afghanistan.

To another question, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he is planning to visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran to get the stance of Afghanistan s immediate neighbours on common issues like refugees, trade, and challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Qureshi said Pakistan desires a better future for Afghanistan and supports a conducive environment to help the Afghan people achieve the goals of development and prosperity.

He stressed that international community must restore ties with Afghanistan for the betterment of its people.

The foreign minister in a statement stressed that the protection of the lives of the people in Afghanistan and the sanctity of human rights was of utmost importance.

He said Pakistan was not focusing on negotiating with a particular group in Afghanistan.

Qureshi said he would visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran and consult with the leadership on the situation of Afghanistan.

He mentioned that Afghanistan was a multi-ethnic country inhabited by people other than Pashtuns as well.

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