Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has warned that a civil war will break out in Afghanistan if peace talks fail.
“The stakes are very high. If there’s progress, there can be peace, there can be stability, and the region collectively will benefit from the outcome of a peace process,” Qureshi said in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
“The stakes are high, simply for the reason that God forbid, if there is no agreement, if there is no political settlement, the fear of going back into the 90s, the fear of Afghanistan going into a civil war is looming over our heads,” he warned.
Qureshi said that a civil war is the last thing Pakistan wants because “Pakistan has paid a huge price because of the unstable environment in Afghanistan.”
“We have paid a huge human price, and we’ve paid a huge economic price. That is why we feel a stable, peaceful Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s national interest.”
He urged the Taliban to remain engaged and continue with the peace process which he said should come to a logical conclusion through the Istanbul conference.
Qureshi reiterated that the Afghan conflict has mo military solution.
“The Afghans should seize this opportunity, sit amongst themselves and decide what kind of a constitution they want. What kind of a political order do they want? How do they want to negotiate peace for them?,” he said.
He also said that there are elements seeking to spoil the peace process.
“There are spoilers within Afghanistan. There are elements that have benefited from the war economy. People have made billions and there are elements outside of Afghanistan who would want Afghanistan to remain unstable because of the use of Afghan soil for their national objectives,” Qureshi said.