Pakistan has welcomed the signing of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal aimed at ending the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan.
The U.S. inked a landmark deal with the Taliban on February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar, laying out a timetable for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months.
In a statement, Pakistan‘s premier Imran Khan termed the accord “start of a peace & reconciliation process to end decades of war & suffering of the Afghan people.”
“I have always maintained that a political solution, no matter how complex, is the only meaningful path to peace,” Khan tweeted.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi represented Pakistan at the ceremony.
In his remarks to the media after the ceremony, Mr. Qureshi welcomed the signing of the peace agreement and said that it carried “immense importance — both in symbolism and substance — for Afghanistan, the region and beyond.”
The peace deal, he said, reflected a significant step forward by the U.S. and the Taliban in advancing the ultimate aim of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He also appreciated the personal contribution of His Highness Amir of Qatar to this process.
The Foreign Minister noted that intra-Afghan negotiations would be the next logical step after today’s event. He hoped that the Afghan parties “would now seize this historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.” He also underlined the need for the international community to recognize that Afghanistan will require support to commence reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.
Redrawing the international community’s attention to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the Foreign Minister underscored the need to assist the Afghan government in creating an enabling environment for the return of the refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan will continue its policy of supporting the Afghan people in their efforts to achieve lasting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.