At SCO summit, Pakistani premier calls for engagement with Afghanistan – Anadolu Agency | English

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Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday called on the international community to meaningfully engage with the interim Taliban administration in Afghanistan for fulfilment of their economic and development needs.

Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, Sharif also urged the Taliban administration to take concrete steps and ensure Afghan soil is not used against any other state.

He called terror attacks in Pakistan, which have increased in recent years, are a “matter of great concern” for all of them. Officials in Islamabad say hideouts in Afghanistan are used by militants to launch attacks against Pakistan.

The Taliban returned to power in August 2021. Climate shocks, including recent flooding and earthquakes, have exacerbated economic and humanitarian challenges in the war-torn country.

The Pakistani leader said terrorism and extremism, whether committed by individuals, groups or states, must be fought collectively in a comprehensive manner.

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, including state terrorism, must be condemned in clear and unambiguous terms,” he said.

Sharif also spoke on situation in Gaza, where Israel has killed nearly 38,000 people since last October, and urged member states to raise their voice against the ongoing “brutality.”

Pakistan is among the 10 members of SCO, the bloc which was founded in 2001. Afghanistan is an observer state along with Mongolia, while 14 other nations are dialogue partners.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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