Engagement with Afghanistan urged to counter threats of narcotics, terrorism

Pakistan and the European Union have agreed on the importance of maintaining sustained engagement with Afghanistan to promote stability and countering narcotics as well as the threat of terrorism.

The resolve was expressed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sand the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP), Josep Borrell at the sixth round of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, held in Brussels on Tuesday.

The High Representative and Foreign Minister held an extensive exchange of views on the situation in Afghanistan.

They expressed grave concern at the potential for an economic collapse and significantly worsening humanitarian crisis and a fresh flow of refugees.

Both sides acknowledged Afghanistan’s serious liquidity challenges which strain the legitimate banking services. They also agreed on the need for continuing urgent and unhindered humanitarian assistance and basic social services support to the Afghan people.

They highlighted the importance of improving the socio-economic situation and preserving human rights, notably those of women and girls, and persons belonging to minorities.

Both sides supported dialogue among the Afghan parties for achieving national reconciliation and underlined the importance of an inclusive and representative government, to enhance the prospects of security and stability.

The High Representative thanked Pakistan for its support in evacuation of EU nationals and the safe passage of people from Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s support for the EU’s inclusion in regional political consultation mechanism on Afghanistan.