Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan: FO

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Monday made it abundantly clear it had no favourites in Afghanistan and emphasized that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent comments on the Islamic State (IS) and Afghan Taliban were being "misconstrued".

“It’s regrettable that a certain contingent of the media misquoted and twisted the statement of the foreign minister about the need for peace and stability in Afghanistanthrough an Afghan-owned peace process.

"The foreign minister clearly spoke about consensus among the international community, the regional players and the Afghans themselves against the menace of terrorism. His remarks cannot in any way be misconstrued as advocacy for a particular side in the Afghan conflict,” the Foreign Office said.

On Sunday, Qureshi speaking to the media had given the impression that it was for the Taliban to ensure that the ISIS did not move into Afghanistan and such an assurance had been given by the Taliban themselves.

"We have repeatedly stated that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan. We see all sides in the conflict as Afghans who need to decide about their future themselves. We will continue to play a constructive facilitation role in the Afghan peace process," the Foreign Office repeated.

It stressed that all energies should be focused on finding an "inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive" political settlement to the Afghan conflict. "We have no favourites. There is a general buzz that we are advocates of the Taliban. I am not and I don't represent them, I represent Pakistan. The Taliban are Afghans," the foreign minister had stated earlier.

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