ISLAMABAD, Sep 24, (Asia Free Press) – Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday told his American counterpart Antony J. Blinken that world should not repeat its mistake to disengage with Afghanistan.
In a statement, issued from the foreign ministry Shah Mahmood Qureshi met US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
“A new political reality had emerged in Afghanistan. While the Taliban should be held to their commitments, the international community has a moral obligation to help the Afghan people deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Qureshi said during the meeting and adding that he hope that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging with Afghanistan.
He also discussed the bilateral relations between two former allies of so-called war on terror in Afghanistan and said that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia.
He also reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a balanced relationship with the United States that was anchored in trade, investment, energy and regional connectivity.
This was first in-person meeting between Qureshi and Blinken after US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.
Last week, Blinken accused Pakistan for negative role in Afghanistan and said his country reassessing its relations with Islamabad.
His remarks dragging prompt reaction from Islamabad and the foreign ministry spokesman termed it “surprising”.
The US top diplomat accused Islamabad despite the south asian country lost over 80,000 lives and over $150 billion lose to its economy due to US war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has also helped the Washington in peace negotiation with Afghan Taliban that helped US to withdrew its troops from Afghanistan where they spent over $2 trillion and lost nearly 2,500 troops but still had failed to defeat Taliban.
Afghan Taliban swiftly takeover Kabul on August 15 without any resistance from over 300,000 troops of Afghan national army —- that collapsed with few days.
The Washington spent around $86 billion to build Afghan National Army and they hoped the Afghan troops will resist against Taliban after their withdrawal.
“That assumption — that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown — turned out not to be accurate,” President Biden told reporters on August 31.
According to US President his country spent more than $2 trillion in Afghanistan — a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan — for two decades — “yes, the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for two decades,” he said.
“And most of all, after 800,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan — I’ve traveled that whole country — brave and honorable service; after 20,744 American servicemen and women injured, and the loss of 2,461 American personnel, including 13 lives lost just this week, I refused to open another decade of warfare in Afghanistan,” Biden explained.
However Biden didn’t explained his decision to why he frozen over $9.5 billion Afghan funds in the US banks despite a peace deal with Taliban and his decision pushed the war-torn country into humanitarian crises.
Russia, China, Pakistan and Qatar expressed concern over US decision and urged to revisit its decision and release Afghan government funds.
“Look at the dichotomy, on one hand, you are raising funds, collecting people in Geneva, and getting fresh pledges to avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan [while] on the other hand, that the money that’s available and can be used for Afghan people for food and medicine and whatever is required, that has been frozen,” Pakistan Foreign Minister told Turkish broadcaster TRT World on Wednesday
“It doesn’t make sense. I think they should revisit that policy. And it will be counterproductive,” Qureshi asked Washington,” he added.
On Thusraday, Secretary Blinken also appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation of U.S citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan, and its continued efforts for peace in the region.
Since August 15, Pakistan has evacuated over 14,000 foreign nationals, including western and other countries diplomats and Afghan nationals who worked with US and NATO countries during the last 20 years in Afghanistan.