Time to acknowledge Afghanistan’s ‘new reality’, says PM at SCO

Time to acknowledge Afghanistan’s ‘new reality’, says PM at SCO

Warns world against squandering ‘rare opportunity’ of Afghan peace

Monitoring Desk

DUSHANBE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the Taliban must fulfill the promises they have made in Afghanistan, and called on the international community to stand with the people of the war-torn country.
Khan urged the international community to recognise the reality in Afghanistan and said the war-torn country cannot be left on its own.
The PM made these remarks at the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit in Tajikistan’s capital.
He added that the Afghan government has primarily relied on international aid; therefore, it was imperative to lend the country humanitarian assistance without any delay.
“The Taliban must fulfill the promises they have made,” he said and added that Pakistan will continue to lend its support to Afghanistan to support peace and stability in the region. The premier reiterated that Afghanistan could not be “controlled from the outside”.
Imran said Pakistan believed that “positive engagement” with the Taliban was “extremely important” to end the decades-long war. This is a “rare opportunity” that should not be squandered, he added. The premier added it would be “unwise” to spread negativity or indulge in propaganda at this critical juncture.
“This will only serve to undermine the prospects for peace, to the detriment of the Afghan people,” he said. During his address, Imran urged regional countries to “resist any drift towards bloc politics” for the sake of peaceful coexistence.
“Peaceful coexistence and cooperation – not confrontation, should be the main drivers of global politics,” he said, adding that addressing the threats to international and regional peace and security was a vital interest for the SCO.
According to the PM, the fight against terror would be futile if such threats and challenges were ignored. He said state terrorism was one of the biggest challenges perpetrated against people living under foreign occupation in disputed territories.
“In some cases, such extremist and bigoted ideologies have ascended to capture the state power in so-called democracies,” he added. Imran added Pakistan believed that faithfully implementing UN Security Council resolutions for peaceful settlement of outstanding disputes was a necessary condition for peaceful co-existence.
Mentioning the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the PM said that the global community should be relieved that the takeover was “bloodless”. He said that there was no bloodshed, civil war, or mass exodus of refugees as a result of the takeover, adding that it was time to acknowledge that a “new reality” has been established.
“It is now in the international community’s collective interest to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilised,” he added.
He asserted that there was a need to support Afghanistan as preventing a humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown were “equally urgent priorities”.
The PM added that the previous Afghan government relied on foreign aid and the suspension of the assistance could result in an economic meltdown.
PM also shared Pakistan’s new ‘economic security paradigm’ during his SCO address. He said that Islamabad has shifted its focus to geo-economics from geopolitics. “Our new economic security paradigm has three central pillars: peace, development partnerships, and connectivity,” he said and added that Pakistan offered the shortest route to seaports while urging the Central Asian states to take advantage of this.
“There is no doubt that the web of rail, road, sea and air links across the SCO region will usher in a new era of enhanced trade, energy flows, and people-to-people exchanges.”