Kabul told not make Pakistan scapegoat

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ISLAMABAD: (June 20, 2021): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Afghanistan to stop blaming Pakistan for its internal problems and Islamabad was made a scapegoat by Kabul whenever its affairs were not moving in the right direction.

In an interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News at his office in Islamabad last week and released on Sunday, the minister said that Afghan leaders must show flexibility to move the peace process forward.

“When there’s failure within [Afghanistan] you blame Pakistan for that. Pakistan is not responsible for the failure within, for the squabbling going on in Afghanistan, if the Afghan leadership can’t sit and work out a peace deal,” he added.

The foreign minister said that the bulk of Taliban leadership was not in Pakistan but in Afghanistan. “We are only engaging with them [Taliban] to facilitate the peace process and try to be helpful and constructive,” he said.

“Many have started recognising that internationally but some in Afghanistan still have that mental blockade of accepting the fact that Pakistan is being genuine, constructive and sincere because Pakistan feels it is in our enlightened interest that there is peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Pressed again on whether the Taliban were funded in Pakistan, the foreign minister responded: “You’re stuck in the old groove. Please get out of that groove. If you remain stuck in this then believe me you will not be able to travel far and we want you to travel far.”