Pakistan Favours Turkey’s Role in Kabul Airport
Qazi stated that Pakistan has a 2600 km long border with Afghanistan and hosts over 3 million Afghan refugees. It has an interest and desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Ambassador Qazi stated that the Pakistan embassy and Turkish, Russian, Chinese, and Qatari remained opened in Kabul.
Qazi hailed relations with Turkey, “Turkey has been a very solid partner of Pakistan over the years, on issues relating to Afghanistan. It was a facilitator in terms of helping facilitate a conversation between us and the previous Afghan set-up. And we participated in that process with an open mind and open heart, and found the process to be useful,” he said.
Noting that Pakistan has been participating in some regional and international mechanisms toward this end, the envoy said that the “progress in intra-Afghan negotiations did not coincide with the pace of withdrawal of international troops. The Ghani government was more focused on externalizing the blame for all the ills that it was facing.”
Answering questions about Turkey being involved in the security of Khamid Karzai International Airport and having relations with the Taliban, the ambassador said that Turkey’s internal business is not something he would not comment on and added, “We are aware of the intention and desire to assist Afghanistan by running or providing some kind of technical or security support or operational support. We support it to the extent that it also meets with the approval of all afghan parts and that they can reach an agreement on that. I believe there are contracts between the Turkish authorities and the powers in Afghanistan to see if this can work out. I believe that any move that can contribute to peace and security, and stability in Afghanistan would be good. Turkey is an actor among so many in the world that enjoy a high degree of trust, on the part of almost all Afghans across Afghan society” Ambassador commented, “So if any country, is to do this (role in Kabul Airport), perhaps, Turkey is the one to do it.”
On the issue of Afghan refugees, Qazi said his country had hosted at least 3-4 million since 1979.
“We want the Afghan refugees who are living in Pakistan to be able to return with honour and dignity finally. We have tried to take good care of these refugees,” he said.