ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday emphasized the significance of synchronizing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan with progress in peace talks between rival Afghan factions.
The country's foreign office issued a statement in response to media queries about the recent US announcement regarding the troop pullout, saying that Pakistan hoped Washington would continue to urge Afghan leaders to seize the opportunity to reach a political settlement in the war-battered country.
"We hope that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress toward a negotiated political settlement," said the foreign office. "In this regard, we support the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stakeholders."
US President Joe Biden recently confirmed a full military exit from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks and said the process would begin to unfold from May 1.
"Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan," the foreign office added. "A meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in the post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability."
The statement also urged the world community to come up with a "time-bound and well-resourced plan for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan."
The United States reached a peace agreement with the Taliban in Doha under the Trump administration in February 2020, agreeing to pull out its forces by May 1.
The Taliban on Thursday described the recent US decision "a clear violation of the Doha agreement" and asked the international community to "exert pressure on America to implement its commitments and withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by the specified date."
"The Islamic Emirate will under no circumstance ever relent on complete independence and establishment of a pure Islamic system and remains committed to finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem following the complete and certain end of occupation," said the insurgent group in a statement.