He spoke at the SCO Summit
Now is the time to stand with the people of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday.
The premier was addressing the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State Summit in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, and National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf attended the summit as well.
He pointed out that a “new reality” has been established in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and the world should accept that.
Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI arrives to attend SCO Summit at Nauroz Palace Dushanbe, Tajikistan.— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) September 17, 2021
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon welcomes the Prime Minister at the start of SCO Summit.#PMIKvisitsTajikistan#PMIKatSCOSummit https://t.co/mMI6WnsifM pic.twitter.com/pnpqbHAnOx
“It is relieving that all of this happened without bloodshed, civil war, and a mass exodus of refugees.”
It is now the international community’s responsibility to prevent any new conflict in the war-torn country and ensure that its security situation is stabilised, the PM said.
He called preventing a humanitarian crisis and economic meltdown “urgent priorities” for Afghanistan. “We must remember the country was primarily dependant on foreign aid and there’s a need for humanitarian assistance.”
He stressed that the Afghan Taliban should fulfill their promises and assured Pakistan’s support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, adding that the country is aiding evacuation efforts and providing support.
“This is an opportunity to end the 40-year war in Afghanistan and this moment should not be abandoned.” PM Khan warned that spreading negative propaganda at such a sensitive time can prove to be fatal, specially for the Afghan people.
Talking about the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the prime minister said that in all these years the world has witnessed the destruction ensued by terrorism. Its threats are still alive today.
He raised concerns over associating terrorism with one religion. “This has enabled far-right, populist, and supremacist groups around the world to propagate, multiply and accumulate influence.”
Pakistan has, over these years, suffered from terrorism that was “planned, supported, financed and orchestrated by state entities from across the border”.
“No other country has suffered more than Pakistan. We have suffered over 80,000 casualties and economic losses in excess of $150 billion.” Despite all this, the country’s resolve remains undeterred when it comes to fighting terrorism and extremism.
PM Imran Khan added that the peace in Afghanistan will benefit the region. “Our new economic security paradigm has three central pillars: peace, development partnerships, and connectivity.”
He said that Pakistan has offered a number of trade routes to countries in the region.
“The web of rail, road, sea and air links across the SCO region will usher in a new era of enhanced trade, energy flows, and people-to-people exchanges.” These linkages will be strengthened by CPEC.
Proposing a way forward, the premier said that the world should come together to mitigate the adverse economic affects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must also advance the agenda of regional connectivity. In this regard, taking the process forward, Pakistan would like to host a virtual conference on the theme ‘Transport Connectivity for Regional Prosperity’ in 2022,” he concluded.