- Qureshi calls for devising roadmap on Afghanistan for political engagement, economic integration
Qureshi Calls For Devising Roadmap On Afghanistan For Political Engagement, Economic Integration
TEHRAN (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Oct, 2021 ) , Oct 27 (APP):Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday called for devising a long-term roadmap for Afghanistan in order to advance the agenda of political engagement, economic integration, and regional connectivity.
Addressing at the second Ministerial Meeting of Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, the foreign minister stressed the need for exploring possibilities of collaboration with key international actors that can support the reconstruction and economic development efforts in Afghanistan.
He said achieving economic sustainability in Afghanistan was crucial step at the moment as the country was experiencing a severe economic crisis for reasons, both internal and external.
He pointed out that following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, major donors had stopped funding the Afghan government, stressing that earlier the donors used to cater for roughly 70 percent of Afghanistan's budget.
Qureshi said the sudden withdrawal of foreign assistance had created a huge gap and warned that 90 percent of the Afghan population could fall below the poverty line next year.
He mentioned in this regard facilitating provision of international humanitarian assistance by land and air and revising custom duties on Afghan products.
The foreign minister said it was important that Afghanistan was allowed access to its frozen assets to reverse the economic downturn.
"Our collective efforts can halt economic meltdown. An economic collapse will yield instability, conflict, and a refugee influx into neighboring countries and onward to other regions," he said.
"We must support an Afghanistan that contributes positively to regional stability and promotes connectivity. We must do so while respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
He said Pakistan had presented the idea of creating a mechanism of the six neighbors of Afghanistan to develop a unified regional approach and expressed gratitude to those who agreed to participate in the proposed meeting.
"It is essential to prevent renewed conflict and foil the designs of spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan," he said.