Pakistan wants same assurance
from Taliban as given to
China and US; asks Alvi

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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi said Tuesday that Pakistan would like to have similar assurance from the Taliban, as given to China and the United States, that the soil of Afghanistan would not be used against them or any other country.

“We will always like assurances, the ones which were given to China and the United States, that the Afghan territory will never be used against any other country,” the president said in an interview with TRT’s Strait Talk.

The president was responding to host Ayese Suberker as she questioned if Pakistan was concerned about resurfacing of terrorist groups after the Taliban took over and about any preconditions with the new government in Afghanistan. President Alvi mentioned that the Taliban had given assurances to China and the U.S. and expected the same for Pakistan.

“On the same principle, I am very hopeful that the similar attitude will be there with Pakistan as far as Afghanistan’s new government whatever form it takes,” he said.

He said the international norms settled in the Charter of the United Nations also supported such conduct.

To check the inflow of terrorists, he said, Pakistan had fenced its borders with Afghanistan.

To a question if Pakistan was likely to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate representative of the Afghan people, he said, “Whatever decision the government makes will happen with the consultation of a number of countries. First, we have to evaluate the situation as it emerges,” he said.

President Dr. Arif Alvi responding to host Ayese Suberker

Asked if Pakistan found the Taliban “trustworthy”, he said, “Whoever [ruling power] is in Afghanistan, we will trust them as our neighbour to ensure peace.”

President Alvi termed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as “hasty” and said Pakistan always tried to persuade the U.S. that not war, but negotiations was the better solution.

He regretted that may it be the Vietnam war or the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, humanity quickly forgot the lessons learned.

The president pointed out that blaming Pakistan for the situation in Afghanistan had become a fashion, however stressed that the swift collapse in Afghanistan had shown the world that it was far beyond for the countries to play their roles.

“With the U.S. presence of 20 years in Afghanistan, almost two trillion dollars spending and investing hundreds of billions for the development, I think the blame game and finding a scapegoat is easy,” he said.

On Pakistan’s role in bringing stability to the war-torn country, President Alvi said Pakistan looked forward to the resumption of peace in Afghanistan and was ready to play a role in its reconstruction.

He said during the four-decade long conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan was the “biggest loser” in terms of suffering the impact after Afghanistan itself.

“With return of peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be the ‘biggest winner’,” he said, expressing optimism that things would settle down quite fast.

He mentioned that Pakistan was hosting four million refugees and stressed that such a gesture must be considered as a matter of goodwill by the Afghan people.

President Alvi said Pakistan was in touch with China, Russia, Turkey and the U.S. to pursue the agenda of development of the region.

However, he stressed that India was playing the role of a spoiler and urged it to not use any other territory against Pakistan.

On bilateral relations with Turkey, he expressed satisfaction over the defence cooperation, however stressed more collaboration in economic ties to match the potential.

He mentioned Turkey’s unwavering support to Pakistan’s stance on the Jammu and Kashmir, which he was facing immense human right violations for decades under the Indian occupation.

President Dr. Arif Alvi has said Pakistan looks forward for a peaceful Afghanistan.

In an exclusive interview with Turkish news channel TRT World, he said Pakistan will be the biggest winner after Afghanistan as peace returns to the country.

Commenting on the current situation in Afghanistan, the President said the most important factor is that there are no big reports of violence. The Afghan people probably welcomed the Taliban coming in. He hoped the things will settle down fast and a peaceful government will be formed there.

The President said it had become fashion to blame Pakistan for happenings in Afghanistan. He said this blame game should go away now. The swift collapse in Afghanistan has proved that it is far beyond what role the other countries can play.

President Arif Alvi said Pakistan being a neighbouring country hosted four million Afghan refugees. He said it was a matter of goodwill between Pakistan and Afghanistan.    

Responding to a question, the President said India has used the Afghan soil to perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan. He mentioned the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav and the recent bombing in Lahore saying India has played the role of spoiler.

Urging India not to use any territory against Pakistan, he said we expect that the Afghan soil will no longer be used against us. The President said both Pakistan and Turkey have identical views on a number of issues and they are on the same page regarding the Afghan situation.

He said we have centuries old relationship with Turkey. He said this is a very strong relationship. He said Pakistan supports Turkey on Northern Cyprus and Turkey supports Pakistan on Kashmir dispute.

Discussing the potential of cooperation in diverse sectors, the President said there are great opportunities for Turkish investors in Pakistan in the areas of Halal meat, agriculture, minerals etc.

When asked about relations with India, the President said Pakistan wants peace. He however voiced concerns over the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir saying Modi government wants to change the demography of the disputed territory. He said we continue to apprise the world community about the Indian atrocities in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The President said Modi government is also sowing seeds of discord within India with controversial steps including the new citizenship law.