‘Want Taliban to assure Afghan soil won’t be used against Pakistan’

President Dr Arif Alvi hoped for reassurance from the Taliban that the Afghan soil will not be used against Pakistan. The president’s remarks came during an interview with Turkish news channel TRT World.

“Pakistan will be the biggest winner after Afghanistan, as peace returns to the country”, he said, urging India not to use the territory against Pakistan.

President Alvi claimed that India had used the Afghan soil to perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan, and he mentioned the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav as well as the recent bombing of Lahore.

“India has played the role of a spoiler”, he maintained.

Discussing the current situation in Afghanistan, President Alvi said that the most important factor was the lack of reports of large-scale violence.

“The Afghan people probably welcomed the Taliban coming in,” he said, hoping that things will settle down soon and lead to the formation of a peaceful government.

According to the president, it had become fashionable to blame Pakistan for the happenings in Afghanistan.

“The blame game needs to end. The swift collapse of the Afghan government has proved that it [the situation] is far beyond roles other countries can play,” he stated.

President Alvi added that Pakistan hosted four million Afghan refugees, playing its role of being a good neighbouring country.

“This is a matter of goodwill between Pakistan and Afghanistan”, he remarked.

Read Turkey to work with Pakistan to stop new wave of Afghan migrants

The President said that both Pakistan and Turkey have identical views on several issues and are on the same page regarding the Afghan situation.

“Our relationship with Turkey is centuries old, and very strong. Pakistan supports Turkey on Northern Cyprus and Turkey supports Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute,” he added.

Commenting on the potential of cooperation in diverse sectors, the president said there were great opportunities for Turkish investors in Pakistan in areas of halal meat, agriculture, minerals, etc.

Relations with India

When questioned about relations with India, the president reiterated that Pakistan wants peace.

However, President Alvi voiced concerns over the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) stating that the Modi government wanted to change the demography of the disputed territory.

“We continue to apprise the international community about the Indian atrocities in IIOJK”, he said.

According to Alvi, the Modi government is also sowing seeds of discord within India itself, with controversial steps including the new citizenship law.

President Dr Arif Alvi is currently in Turkey on a three-day visit, at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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