FM Qureshi urges US to keep eye on elements seeking to sabotage Afghan peace

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, condemning the attack in Kabul during a political rally earlier in the day, said that the move was made by those who are against the establishment of peace in Afghanistan and seek to use the country for their own gain.
He said that a close eye will have to be kept on those that are sabotaging the peace process, calling on US and other global powers to keep an eye on such elements.
The foreign minister said that the exercise is one that will test our patience but that there is no other solution but to remain steadfast in the pursuit of peace.
He regretted that for the past 19 years, the country had been witnessing such incidents and noted that the people of Aghanistan truly desire peace.
“The attack is extremely regrettable and condemnable,” he said, adding that the Taliban had denied any involvement in it.
“Those who seek to disrupt peace are in Afghanistan and also outside of it,” he said, without elaborating further.
The foreign minister pledged Pakistan’s support in whatever assistance it can provide.
Twenty-seven people were reportedly killed and 29 were wounded when a political rally led by Afghanistan leader Abdullah Abdullah was attacked by gunmen.
The Taliban immediately denied responsibility for the assault, which occurred at the commemoration ceremony for Abdul Ali Mazari — a politician from the Hazara ethnic group.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said gunfire had erupted from a construction site near the ceremony in the city’s west.
The ceremony was attended by many of the country’s political elite, including Abdullah Abdullah. The interior ministry later confirmed to reporters that “all the high-ranking officials were safely evacuated from the scene”.
The incident comes less than a week after the US and Taliban signed a deal that would pave the way for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months.
However, fighting has continued to rage across the country, casting a pall over hopes that the agreement would lead to a reduction in violence.

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