ISLAMABAD: Qatar has invited Pakistan to attend the signing of the US-Taliban peace deal to be held in Doha on February 29, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had announced that the agreement between the country and Taliban will take place on February 29, 2020.
Qureshi said the Qatari envoy had invited him to the signing ceremony on behalf of the Qatari deputy prime minister and foreign minister.
The foreign minister, voicing his views on the much-awaited development, said that Pakistan welcomes the announcement of a truce deal between the US and Taliban.
“Pakistan has always maintained that the Afghan peace process does not require a military solution,” said the foreign minister.
He added that Pakistan has played a crucial role in the Afghan peace process and today the entire world is acknowledging it’s stance.
The foreign minister expressed hope that the peace deal will pave way for an intra-Afghan dialogue.
Pakistan earlier said it was looking forward to the peace agreement signing between the US and Taliban, urging Afghan parties to “seize this historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement”.
The Foreign Office in its statement said: “Pakistan has consistently supported direct negotiations between the US and Taliban. From the outset, Pakistan has facilitated this process and contributed to its progress.”
“Pakistan reaffirms its support for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours,” the press release read.
The US had been in talks with the Taliban for more than a year to secure a deal in which it would pull out thousands of troops in return for Taliban security guarantees and commitments.
“Importance of Trump’s statement on Pakistan while in India cannot be denied”
Earlier today, FM Qureshi said the importance of US President Donald Trump’s statement during his visit to India — in which he said that the US has a “very good relationship” with Pakistan — cannot be denied.
A day earlier, US President Donald Trump, while addressing a packed rally in Ahmedabad after his arrival in India on Monday, said the United States has “a very good relationship” with Pakistan.
“Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability and the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” Trump had said on the first day of his whirlwind 36-hour visit meant to reaffirm US-India ties.
In a statement released by the foreign minister’s spokesperson today, Qureshi said that Trump remark about Pakistan was “extraordinary and its importance cannot be denied”.
“Trump wants peace and stability in the region and has asked India to play a positive role in the area and extend a hand for promoting peace and stability in the region.”
The foreign minister said that this will only be possible when the Kashmir issue is solved.
“The current Indian government has further complicated an already complicated problem. India’s measures of August 5 have affected the identity of Kashmir and broken it into several parts.
“Kashmir has been under lockdown for 206 days. How can things progress in these conditions?” he questioned.
“Pakistan’s stance on the disturbance caused by the Citizenship Amendment Act in India can be seen by what is happening in Delhi.”
“If conditions worsen, the void of peace in the region can affect the whole world.”
The minister added that India needs to “review its behaviour and policy”.
Qureshi said Trump “made it clear that Pakistan is a partner of peace in the war against terrorism”. He added that the progress Pakistan has made to defeat terrorism is exemplary.
“Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process is there for the world to see […] and Pakistan’s role in the region is being commended.
“The Pakistan which India deemed to be a ‘problem’ is now being seen by the world as a ‘solution’.”
He congratulated the “people of Pakistan, the armed forces and the political leadership for the positive change”.