Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the United States should withdraw troops from Afghanistan in a responsible manner and avoid repeating the mistakes from the past.
The remarks were made during an interview with American broadcaster Fox News.
The statement from Qureshi also came within hours of meetings with US officials, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Over the past week, the minister has been on a diplomatic outreach mission following increased tensions between Iran and US.
He was in Tehran and Riyadh before the trip to Washington.
“Pakistan is asking [the US] for a responsible withdrawal, unlike in the eighties, which created a vacuum for the destructive forces to take over,” he said, referring to US involvement in the Soviet-Afghan war.
Responding to a question about the Afghan peace process, Qureshi said that Pakistan facilitated US dialogue with Taliban on the request of US President Donald Trump in a hope for peace and stability in the region.
“The Taliban are speaking to the US today, and there is a possibility of an agreement,” he said, mentioning Thursday’s announcement by the Taliban of a possible ceasefire before they could take the next step leading to dialogue.
Asked to comment on the possible participation of Prime Minister Imran Khan at a Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit in India later this year, Qureshi said that Pakistan had always said it would take steps toward peace.
“The prime minister is very, very clear that if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two,” he said, adding that, “unfortunately India is showing a negative attitude, and resorting to repression in Kashmir”.
Earlier on Friday, Qureshi met Pompeo in Washington to discuss bilateral ties, trade, tensions in the Middle East and the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir.
In messages shared on Twitter after the meeting, Qureshi and Pompeo both said that the Afghan peace process also came under discussion during the meeting.
“The convergence between Pakistan and US stands as a unique opportunity for peace in Afghanistan, ultimately a shared responsibility. Pakistan will continue to play part for peace in entire region,” Qureshi tweeted.
Pompeo sent out a tweet saying that he had enjoyed meeting Qureshi and held discussions on him on a wide range of issues of bilateral interest to the two countries.
“Enjoyed meeting with Pakistani foreign minister today. We discussed countering Iranian aggression, the Afghan peace process, trade ties, and regional stability,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
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