National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf stated that Pakistan will not accept Afghanistan’s “forced takeover” but instead supports a political settlement of the conflict in this war-torn country.
“We will not accept a forced takeover,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC late Wednesday, ending a week-long meeting with the US government.
The US National Security Agency emphasized that the only solution to peace in Afghanistan is a “political solution.”
He said: “We have made it clear that we are in line with the progress of the international community on this matter.” “But the world also needs to be clear that the United States is investing in political solutions.”
Dr. Yusuf said that the Afghan government’s tough remarks against Pakistan prevented good relations between neighboring countries.
“We are beginning to see that the Afghan government is very consciously and deliberately using Pakistan as a scapegoat,” he said, adding that Afghanistan hopes to shift the full responsibility for its failure to Islamabad.
He reiterated that although Pakistan hopes to maintain good relations with the Afghan government, “unfortunately, the acrimony and rhetoric from there make this impossible.”
He urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to “compromise and reach a peaceful settlement” because the insurgents quickly won during the U.S. withdrawal.
He emphasized that the internationally recognized Kabul government needs to stop seeking military victory and should include a wider range of Afghans in any future talks.
“Given the actual situation, some compromises must be made. But the violence must stop,” he said.
Yusuf said that his American counterparts Jack Sullivan and others in President Joe Biden’s administration did not make specific requests to Pakistan, but discussed “how quickly we can get all these actors to have a sincere conversation in one room” .
He refuted the claim that Islamabad exerted influence on the Taliban.
“No matter what limited influence we have, we will use it,” he said, noting that Pakistan encourages the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government in Doha.
“Now with the withdrawal, this leverage is further logically reduced,” he added.
Yusuf further stated that Pakistan can no longer accept Afghan refugees because it currently hosts approximately 3.5 million Afghan refugees.
“Peace in Afghanistan is non-negotiable for us,” he said. “We are not prepared under any circumstances to see the long-term instability that has caused the spread of Pakistan in the past.”
Before the US National Security Agency made the above remarks, the United States expressed its hope that Pakistan will keep its border with Afghanistan open to Afghan refugees. This request may exacerbate the already tense relations between the two countries.
“Therefore, in places like Pakistan, it is very important to keep the border open,” a senior State Department official said when introducing the new US refugee entry program for Afghan nationals to reporters.
The US National Security Agency, Yusuf, said at a briefing in Washington this week that arrangements should be made to keep the displaced Afghans in the country instead of pushing them into Pakistan.
“Why let them become dar-ba-dar (homeless)? Make arrangements for them in their country. Pakistan does not have the capacity to accept more refugees,” he said.