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Pakistan considers inviting Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to regional forum

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to reporters at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, August 24, 2020.
AP/Anjum Naveed 2020 ©Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to reporters at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, August 24, 2020.

Additional hurdles touched upon at the regional conference included concerns on Afghanistan’s border security

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while attending an online meeting on Wednesday with other state officials, proposed inviting representatives from Afghanistan to future upcoming regional forums.

The suggestion took place during a conference between Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkmenistan, where regional powers were discussing what to do regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

“I also suggest that we may give consideration to the idea of inviting Afghanistan in future. Participation of Afghanistan will augment this forum's effectiveness in pursuing our shared objectives for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan," Qureshi asserted in Reuters.

The aims of the conference focused on preventing the humanitarian disaster looming in Afghanistan. Recently, the UN issued a call for funds to help the country’s civilian population, emphasizing that almost half of Afghanistan's citizens cannot currently survive without the intervention of humanitarian aid. 

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Afghanistan, which is facing the prospects of a brutal winter and harsh drought following the Taliban's takeover, is in urgent need of basic essentials. Food, shelter, and health supplies are in demand.

“In the wake of recent developments, the key priorities are to prevent a humanitarian crisis that can exacerbate the suffering of the Afghans,” Qureshi stated in Reuters.

Additional hurdles touched upon at the regional conference included concerns on Afghanistan’s border security and the country’s potential as a hub for terrorism.