Speech of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan at a press conference following talks with President of the Tajikistan

18.09.2021 04:43

Mr. President Emomali Rahmon,

First of all, I want to congratulate you for successfully hosting the SCO Conference today.

Secondly, I want to thank you on behalf of my delegation for the hospitality and warmest that you have shown us on our visit here.

 We discussed a wide range of subjects relating to trade between the two countries; the connectivity, the shortest route from Tajikistan to the Indian Ocean, to the sea is through Pakistan.

 So we discussed that and how we can mutually benefit from trade whether it is textiles or it is pharmaceuticals, tourism.

But today the most important subject and what concerns our two countries most of all is Afghanistan and as the Mr. President quite rightly said that it is extremely important not just for Tajikistan and Pakistan that there is peace in Afghanistan but especially for the long suffering people of Afghanistan for forty years there has been conflict in the country and it has caused immense suffering for the people there.

 So we discussed how, given the current situation, how we can ensure or try our best that there is peace and stability in the future and of the conflicts which is worrying us, worrying you, I know, worrying us in Pakistan is the conflict in Panjsher between the Tajiks and Taliban and we resolved today that we will try our best, You Mr. President will try your influence with the Tajik and we will try our best with the Pashtun or the Taliban. We will try our best to make them resolve the differences through the dialogue. And we will urge on them that it is important for the sake of Afghanistan that there is an inclusive government.

Unless, there is an inclusive government in a country which is diverse. There are Pashtuns, 45 percent and there is huge Tajik minority in Afghanistan and there are Uzbeks, there are Hazaras.

So, sustainable peace in Afghanistan can only come if there is an inclusive government. So we will try our best, we will urge, we know we can’t dictate to any other country, but we will try our best, our influence, urge them as friends of Afghanistan that they must resolve this, especially this issue which is now erupting between the Tajik and the Taliban in Panjsher Valley.

And we will also urge them on humanitarian ground that they must open the blockade so the humanitarian aid can go through.

And we can at this juncture, Mr. President as you and I have both discussed today in great length that this is a defining moment in Afghanistan’s history. It can go two ways. It can either go towards the lasting peace, which has alluded them for the last forty years or unfortunately it can go to the nightmare scenario where it can have more conflict, humanitarian crisis, more refugees, an unstable Afghanistan which could be used for by terrorists. At least that three different terrorist groups that were used in Afghan soil to do terrorist attacks within Pakistan.

So, therefore it is in everyone’s interest, in fact it is the world international community, it is in everyone’s interest that there is peace and stability in Afghanistan.

And so the peace, as we agreed today, can only come if there is an inclusive government. All different points of views, factions, ethnic groups, all of them are included in a government which will lead to sustainable peace.

So, I thank you again, Mr. President, for your warm and great hospitality. I must say on behalf of my delegation, everyone has been very impressed.

We have seen the development that has taken place. I have seen the building, the greenery. It shows that you have a real passion, you feel for to develop your country. It has really impressed my delegation and I want you congratulate for that.

Thank you.

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