Seeking support from the international community, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari Saturday urged lending support to Afghanistan’s interim authorities for their capacity building and dealing with threats of terrorism.
With Afghanistan’s incessantly volatile situation, Pakistan is confronted with a fresh spate of terror attacks after the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) halted the ceasefire in November 2022 and began attacking the military, paramilitary, police, and civilians.
The foreign minister, during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference, said the global community wanted the Afghan interim government to live up to its obligations and commitments in areas like women’s education, all-inclusive government and tackling of potential threats from terrorism, emanating from terrorist groups of Daesh, TTP and Al Qaeda.
On Friday, militants stormed Karachi Police Office in the city’s main artery of Sharea Faisal. The security forces cleared the five-storey building after nearly a four-hour operation. TTP — which has safe havens in Afghanistan — later claimed responsibility for the attack.
The foreign minister said that if this issue was not taken seriously, the terrorist groups could conduct terrorist activities from Afghanistan as had been witnessed recently from incidents in Pakistan.
The outlawed TTP was also involved in the Peshawar mosque suicide attack that killed more than 80 people, mainly policemen — one of the deadliest attacks in recent years.
The interim government neither had a standing army, a counter-terrorism force, or even a border force, FM Bilawal opined.
Bilawal said the global community should convince the Afghan interim government to take on the threat of terrorism and demonstrate its will. Terrorism not only posed threat to immediate neighbours of Afghanistan but also to the West, he warned.
Pakistan had helped Afghanistan in the past and would continue to do so as it had hosted the largest number of Afghan refugees on its soil, he said, adding that the international community could not wash their hands and turn away from Afghanistan.
He stressed that the world should continue its humanitarian support, unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets, open up banking channels, and engage with the Taliban, society, and women.
The foreign minister reiterated that a peaceful Afghanistan was vital for the stability of the region and the international community must play its role in this regard.
The Afghan interim government had assured to eradicate terrorism from its soil, he added.
On Russia-Ukraine conflict
Earlier today, Pakistan once again emphasised for early resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
Talking to his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, FM Bilawal conveyed his concerns over the conflict.
The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on a range of issues and resolved to further enhance bilateral cooperation for benefit of their peoples.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, the foreign minister said he also held an enriching discussion with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on global, regional and bilateral matters.