Anti-Pakistan elements can enter country in guise of Afghan refugees: FM Qureshi

Qureshi also said that Pakistan wanted to adopt a joint strategy on Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today (Tuesday) has warned that anti-Pakistan elements could enter the country under the guise of Afghan refugees, emphasizing that it was their obligation to remain cautious.

In a statement, the Foreign Minister said that he considered most of the Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan as innocent who wanted to return to their country. “Pakistan wanted to help the Afghan people, but also wanted to ensure the safety and security of its own people,” he added.

He pointed out that Pakistan was the only country which despite its limited resources was hosting three million Afghan refugees since decades. However, he said, if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated again, it cannot afford to welcome more refugees.

FM Qureshi further said Pakistan by sacrificing 70,000 lives and suffering huge economic losses had paid a heavy price in the war against terrorism.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi also said that Pakistan wanted to adopt a joint strategy on Afghanistan after consultation with important countries of the region. “As Pakistan is fulfilling its responsibilities, the improved situation in Afghanistan will benefit all,” he added.

The foreign minister said since he was in Tajikistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, he wanted to utilize the opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan with important countries of the region.

The Foreign Minister said that India by playing the role of a spoiler in Afghanistan was disturbing regional peace. He urged the international community to prohibit India from the negative attitude, adding, India should also let Afghanistan live with peace.

Qureshi said that as the neighboring countries would be affected by the situation in Afghanistan, it was a golden opportunity to take consultative process forward. “Pakistan desired sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan. How long fingers will be pointed towards Pakistan”, he questioned.

He urged Afghans not to repeat the mistakes of past and find a way by sitting together. “We invite the important Afghan personalities for dialogue. Afghan leaders should sit and tell how we can help them?” he concluded.