FM calls for United States to systematically withdraw from Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says the United States should systematically withdraw from Afghanistan to prevent what had happened in 1990s in that country.

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He stated this in an interview with Anadolu Agency, on side-lines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkish city of Antalya.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said If US withdrawal is not systematic; we are concerned that Afghanistan may get sucked into a situation that we experienced in the 1990s, when there was anarchy, civil war, instability.

He said the withdrawal should be carried out in a responsible way. Afghans have paid the biggest price. The second to the Afghans are Pakistanis. We lost 83,000 lives on account of terrorism. Our economy has suffered close to over 128 billion US dollars.

Stressing that the ownership and the responsibility lie on the Afghan leadership, he said they had to sit together and decide on their future. Pakistan could only facilitate the process.

Regarding bilateral relations with Turkey, Qureshi said the two countries have an excellent relationship based on trust and friendship, leading to an economic partnership in the future.

He said we have a good defence cooperation understanding and it is deepening with the passage of time. We need to increase our economic footprint, promote bilateral trade and also encourage investments.

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