Pak clarifies IS remarks by FM Qureshi

Pak clarifies IS remarks by FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has issued a clarification over Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s earlier statement in which he had said it is the Afghan government’s responsibility to monitor and keep Islamic State (IS) terrorists in the country in check.

MoFA spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said certain sections of the media had “have misquoted and twisted” Qureshi’s remarks on the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.

Chaudhri clarified that the Foreign Minister had “clearly spoken” about the consensus among the international community, the regional players and the Afghans themselves “against the menace of terrorism”, News Pakistan reported.

“His remarks cannot be in anyway be misconstrued as advocacy for a particular side in the Afghan conflict. “We have repeatedly stated that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan. We see all sides in the conflict as Afghans who need to decide about their future themselves. We will continue to play a constructive facilitation role in the Afghan peace process,” he added.

A few days ago, Qureshi’s statement in which he categorically stated that it was Afghanistan government’s responsiblity to monitor presence of the IS in the country and keep it from growing.

Addressing a press conference at Multan’s Raza Hall on July 31, Qureshi said that the Afghan forces had the capacity to combat the IS group.

“Nobody wants Daesh (IS) to grow. They (Afghan government) don’t want it, the Taliban don’t want it, Iran doesn’t want it, (Afghanistan’s) neighbours don’t want it and the international community doesn’t want it .” In response to a query that Moscow says IS militants were arriving in Afghanistan from Iraq, Libya and Syria for terrorism, he said it was the responsibility of the Afghan government to monitor the militants and keep them from growing in Afghanistan.

“If they are shifting from Iraq and Syria, whose responsibility should it be to check them? It’s the Afghan government’s.”