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UNSC resolution on Afghanistan a major breakthrough: FM

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to ease the flow of aid to Afghanistan and the United States exemption of some officials doing permitted business with the Taliban from US sanctions to try to maintain the flow of aid to Afghanistan were two major developments that came after the recently held Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers’ meeting in Pakistan.

“Surely, this is a major breakthrough. I want to congratulate the Afghan people. The OIC session of the foreign ministers has starting yielding results,” the foreign minister said while speaking to the media in Islamabad.

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The Security Council resolution, which was passed unanimously on Wednesday, said: “This resolution provides an exemption from the UN Security Council assets freeze against listed members of the Taliban and associated entities solely for the provision of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan, which the council will review in one year.”

The foreign minister also mentioned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s tweet wherein he appreciated Pakistan’s stance and also Saudi Arabia for convening the extraordinary meeting of the OIC.

“Following [the] OIC session in Pakistan, [we] welcome two important developments in support of Afghan people: UNSC resolution to provide aid to Afghanistan, supporting basic needs and the US exemption on US/UN officials doing permitted business with Taliban from US sanctions, to help ease aid flow,” the foreign minister said on Twitter.

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The foreign minister added that the OIC session also succeeded in evolving consensus among the participants for appointing a special OIC envoy on Afghanistan humanitarian assistance, establishing a Trust Fund and launching a food security program.

Qureshi said he would also talk to the member countries to consider the option of establishing an air corridor to ensure an urgent supply of food. Qureshi said the resolution would enable the United Nations and International non-governmental organizations to extend assistance to the Afghan people.

Particularly appreciating the role of Saudi Arabia, the foreign minister said the OIC extraordinary session held on December 19 proved to be a key to open up the avenue for support to the Afghan.

Separately, the foreign minister said on Thursday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government had formulated the country’s foreign policy in line with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.

“The previous government did not appoint a foreign minister and it was an attempt to isolate Pakistan at the diplomatic level. Today, Pakistan, due to its effective diplomacy, had become the center of world…” he said while speaking at a ceremony at the residence of PTI leader Malik Tariq Bhutta.

The successful conduct of the OIC summit was being appreciated all over the world, Qureshi remarked. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PTI government wants to uplift the prestige of the country and move on the path of development.”

He said that Pakistan always wanted peace, prosperity and development in the region. “The most important issue in the current situation is to save 38 million people of Afghanistan from hunger and poverty,” he added.

He said that the PTI government was sincerely striving for the development and dignity of the country. The government was also focusing on economic diplomacy, Qureshi said, adding that the Foreign Ministry had been mobilized in this regard.

He said that Pakistan was committed to hosting the 48th meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in March 2022.


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