LONDON: Pakistan has urged the US, other countries, International Monetary Fund and international financial institutions that have frozen Afghan government funds to immediately release the money so it can be used for promoting normalcy in Afghanistan. US has frozen $9bn of Afghanistan which according to Islamabad is genuine right of Kabul’s Taliban regime to have to run the day today government affairs.
Expressing Pakistan’s point of view, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told an audience at the Pakistan House on Sunday evening that Afghan interim government (Taliban’s) is near to bankrupt and suffering a serious economic crisis. “If Afghan frozen funds are not released immediately and donor countries did not come forward to help interim Afghan Government, there would be very serious human crisis”, he emphasised.
He said Pakistan “is in sync with the international community” in wanting to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan with no space for terrorist elements to increase their foothold, and for the Taliban to ensure “that Afghan soil is never used again against any country.”
Expectations from the Taliban leadership could include an inclusive government and assurances for human rights, especially for women and girls, Qureshi said. In turn, he said, the Afghan government might be motivated by receiving development, economic and reconstruction aid to help recover from decades of war.
He pledged that Pakistan is ready to play a “constructive, positive” role in opening communications channels with the Taliban because it, too, benefits from peace and stability. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s virtual speech at the UNGA was full of facts and an eye-opener and his (SMQ) visit to Washington and New York were very successful and fruitful.
“We presented our well-researched dossier on Jammu & Kashmir and it helped to understand the Kashmir situation by the ministers and delegates of other countries”, Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated.
Voting rights for overseas Pakistanis
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said the government was committed to grant voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and extend them facilities through various initiatives.
SMQ lauded the outstanding contribution of the British Pakistani diaspora in cementing Pakistan-UK relations. The event was attended by a large number of eminent members of the British Pakistani community including parliamentarians, academia, business-people and professionals.
The foreign minister apprised the participants of the steps taken by the government to facilitate overseas Pakistanis including granting them voting rights. He appreciated in particular the buy-in of initiatives such as Roshan Digital Accounts on part of the community.
The foreign minister apprised the gathering of efforts being made by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue and highlight human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir at every forum, including the UN General Assembly Session in New York.
He said that a well-researched dossier containing evidence of war crimes committed by Indian Occupation forces had been prepared which included audio recordings and videos of human rights violations.
He invited the attendees to confirm for themselves veracity of the evidence shared therein. He re-affirmed Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to stand in solidarity with its Kashmiri brethren till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.
The foreign minister informed the audience that Pakistan had extended every possible support for evacuation of foreign and Afghan nationals who wished to leave the country, and also set up a humanitarian corridor. It was imperative that the international community did not repeat past mistakes, stayed engaged, and acted to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
Earlier, welcoming the Foreign Minister, High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan apprised him of the measures being taken to enhance communication with the community and improve its access to the services offered by the High Commission and its Consulates.
He thanked the Foreign Minister for taking personal interest in having the matter of removal of Pakistan from the Red List resolved satisfactorily.
He also recounted that pursuant to the Foreign Minister’s emphasis on economic diplomacy, the Mission had been making concerted efforts to increase and diversify exports, enhance remittances and encourage Foreign Direct Investment. This had resulted in a substantial and unprecedented increase in exports and remittances, and an improvement in FDI.
Meeting with Kashmiri leaders
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi assured the British Pakistani leadership from Kashmir that Pakistan would continue to lend support to Kashmiris’ just struggle for self-determination.
The foreign minister, who is on an official visit to the United Kingdom, expressed these views in a meeting with eminent British Pakistani leaders and community representatives hailing from Kashmir, at the Pakistan House.
Qureshi said Pakistan would extend Kahmiris all possible support till the realization of their inalienable right in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Lauding the positive role being played by the Pakistani Kashmiri community in highlighting Indian human rights abuses in J&K), the foreign minister apprised them of the steps being taken by the government of Pakistan to advance the Kashmir cause, and raise awareness about the humanitarian and human rights situation in J&K.
In this regard, the government of Pakistan, relying on credible international sources, had recently compiled a Dossier detailing over 3,000 war crimes perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces.
Qureshi lauded the recent debate in the British Parliament, laying bare once more, Indian atrocities in J&K. He encouraged the British Pakistani community to play its role in bringing to light the human rights and humanitarian abuses.
Those who attended the meeting were including Lord Qurban Hussain, Khalid Mahmood MP, Imran Hussain MP, Abdul Majeed Tarambo (former incharge of Kashmir Centre, Brussels), Raja Faheem Kayani, Nazir Shawl, Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, Fazal Quadri and others. Allam Abdul Aziz Chishti led the prayer for the departed soul of Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani at the reception.