LONDON: Highlighting Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving situation in Afghanistan at BBC Radio4’s flagship programme ‘Today’ on Friday (3rd September) High Commissioner Moazzam Ahmad Khan stated that Pakistan was doing everything possible to help evacuate diplomats, NGO workers, journalists and foreign nationals from Afghanistan. A large number were being facilitated on a daily basis.
He stressed on the need for the international community to stay constructively engaged with Afghanistan keeping in view the ground realities. The effort at this point should be to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and pre-empt mass exodus of refugees.
He underscored that Pakistan was already hosting 4 million Afghan refugees and did not possess the capacity to take in more. The Covid-19 pandemic had made matters worse. In order to regulate the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Pakistan had been fencing it for some years, and had completed 97% of the task.
The High Commissioner stated that Pakistan had consistently maintained that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and that a political settlement was the only viable option. Pakistan’s asks of the new Taliban regime were the same as those of the international community, i.e., that the future dispensation should be broad-based and inclusive, and that human rights including women rights should be respected.
On the question of recognition, he clarified that Pakistan had not taken a decision to recognize the next Taliban government. Pakistan was monitoring the situation closely and was in touch with friends and partners in the international community in this regard.