Pakistan being made ‘scapegoat’ for others’ mistakes in Afghanistan: FM

Days after being snubbed at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on Afghanistan despite Pakistan’s request, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday regretted that the country was being made an “scapegoat” for the mistakes of others in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi said that Pakistan itself is a victim. “We have paid a huge price… we’re the victims… this has to be understood… we have 80,000 casualties and we suffered economic loss,” he added.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan has projected its case at the international forum. “We have been saying Pakistan has no ‘favourites’ in Afghanistan.”

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He said that Pakistan had urged to the United States not to abandon Afghanistan as it would create power vacuum in the war-torn country.

He reiterated that Pakistan was not supportive of a military takeover in Afghanistan, adding that his country’s role in the conflict is only of a facilitator, not of a guarantor.

Qureshi categorically rejected the allegations of Afghan leadership over Pakistan’s role in the conflict, adding that the future of Afghanistan will be decided by its people.

“If peace talks succeed then it would not be Pakistan who would get the credit but the Afghan leadership,” he added.

Also read: Islamabad mulls regional moot on Kabul

Talking about the recent terrorists attacks in Pakistan, FM Qureshi said that Dasu, Lahore, and Quetta blasts were attempts to disrupt the progress made in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“They have their own priorities and we have our own… despite their efforts, we will continue to progress,” he maintained.

He said that our spirits are high despite the attempts being made by the enemies of Pakistan to target CPEC.

FM Qureshi said that Pakistan had made a formal request to be present in the UNSC’s session on Afghanistan, but unfortunately, it was not accepted.

He reminded that the request was made during a month when India was acting as president of UNSC. “We had reminded India to act objectively. However, a country aspiring for permanent seat in the Security Council did not behave in a manner that was befitting to the responsibility.”

He said that by not accepting Pakistan’s request, India has been in breach of its obligation as president of the UNSC.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan suffered the most due to conflict in Afghanistan after Afghanistan itself and it is the biggest stake-holder in facilitating the peace process in the neighbouring country.

More to follow…

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)