Shifting of focus: Pak, China call for orderly withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan
Islamabad: Pakistan, China and Afghanistan on Tuesday called for “orderly” and “responsible” withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn country to prevent a potential terrorist resurgence.
The three sides also agreed to continue to strengthen counter-terrorism and security cooperation, according to a joint press statement issued at the conclusion of the 3rd round China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral vice foreign ministers’ dialogue held via video link.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the meeting.
“The three sides urged for an orderly, responsible and condition based withdraw of the foreign troops from Afghanistan to avoid potential terrorist resurgence,” the statement said.
An agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in February in Doha drew up plans for withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgent group.
As part of the Doha deal, the US committed to withdraw its 12,000 troops within 14 months. Troops have since been reduced by over a quarter, according to a recent report on Afghanistan published by the Congressional Research Service.
The Taliban committed to prevent other groups, including Al Qaeda, from using Afghan soil to recruit, train or fund raise toward activities that threaten the US or its allies.
China and Pakistan appreciated the efforts by the Afghanistan government and relevant parties in expediting the exchange of the prisoners to pave the way for the start of the Intra-Afghan negotiations and call for violence reduction and humanitarian ceasefire.
During the talks, China and Pakistan agreed to enhance cooperation with the Afghan government in support of the ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace reconciliation process.
The three sides agreed that the return of Afghan refugees should be part of the peace and reconciliation process and underlined the role of the international community for a time-bound and well-resourced roadmap for their return with dignity and honour.
The participants also conducted in-depth discussions and reached consensus on cooperation against COVID-19, the statement said. (PTI)