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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that a “new reality” has been established in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in Kabul and it is now in the international community’s “collective interest” to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in the war-torn country and it will never again become a safe haven for terrorists.

Addressing the 21st Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, Khan said it should be a matter of relief for the world that the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and the full withdrawal of foreign forces from the country happened “without bloodshed, without civil war, and without mass exodus of refugees”.

Pakistan, which had suffered due to the spillover of conflict and instability in Afghanistan, had an interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, he said.

“The sudden change of the previous government which surprised everyone, the takeover by the Taliban, and the full withdrawal of foreign forces, has established a new reality in Afghanistan.

“That all this happened without bloodshed, without civil war, and without mass exodus of refugees, should be a matter of relief,” Khan said, adding that it is now in the international community’s collective interest to ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilised.

Equally urgent priorities are to prevent a humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown, he said.

“We must remember that the previous government depended heavily on foreign aid and its removal could lead to economic collapse.  This is a moment to stand by the Afghan people, firmly and unequivocally,” he said.

He said that the Taliban rulers should make good on their commitments.

“The Taliban must fulfil the pledges made above all for inclusive political structure where all ethnic groups are represented. This is vital for Afghanistan’s stability,” he said.



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