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‘Closest neighbour’: Pakistan issues statement on India’s snub at UNSC meeting on Afghanistan

Pakistan Foreign Office has issued a statement regretting that it was not invited to the United National Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, despite being the closest neighbour of the conflict-ridden country. Under India’s Presidency, the 15-member council held a meeting on the situation of Afghanistan on Sunday where India took a veiled dig at Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. “For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. It needs to be ensured that Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region are not threatened by terrorism, separatism, and extremism,” Indian Ambassador to the UN T S Tirumurti said.

“Pakistan is the closest neighbour of Afghanistan whose contribution in the ongoing peace process has been recognized by the international community. Pakistan’s constructive efforts with the support of the international community led to important milestones in Doha peace process. Pakistan calls upon all sides in Afghanistan to eschew the military approach and work together to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. It is equally important to remain cognisant of spoilers, both within and outside,” Pakistan’s foreign office said.

Won’t accept a govt imposed by force in Afghanistan: UNSC

At the UNSC discussion, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ghulam Isaczai launched a scathing attack on Pakistan, saying it was providing safe haven and logistical support to the Taliban.

Pakistan foreign office, in its statement, said the request to present the country’s perspective on the Afghan peace process was not acceded to but the platform was “made available to enable the peddling of a false narrative against Pakistan”. “Pakistan categorically rejects these accusations. Pakistan’s position on the issue has been shared with Security Council members,” it said adding that its stand on Afghanistan situation remains the same as it believes that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and the only way to long-lasting peace lies in political compromise.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier said Taliban are normal citizens and not any military outfit that the Pakistan army can hunt them down. At the UNSC meeting, the Afghan Ambassador to the UN, Ghulam Isaczai, said Afghanistan is prepared to provide evidence in support of its claim that Pakistan is ensuring a supply chain to the Taliban.

“Should members of the Security Council want that evidence, we are ready to provide them,” Ghulam said adding that evidence was provided to Islamabad as well. “In a deliberate act of barbarism Taliban isn’t alone. They’re assisted by foreign fighters from transnational terrorist networks. Together they are threatening peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and also in our region and beyond,” Isaczai said.

The UNSC said the council will not support political structure in the name of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban rule) in Afghanistan again. The UN body also expressed its concern over reports of growing human rights violations in Afghanistan, ANI said quoting Pajhwok Afghan News.

As the conflict is going on in Afghanistan, Zaranj, the capital city of Nimroz province, and Shiberghan, the provincial capital of Jawzjan, had fallen to the Taliban and fighting is underway currently in Helmand’s capital Lashkargah, Kandahar City and Sar-e-Pul City.

(With agency inputs)

Desk Team