US withdrawal was ‘not responsible and not orderly,’ Pakistani official says

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was “not responsible and not orderly.”

“We’ve been saying consistently, Pakistan, I’ve been saying in my engagements, withdrawal is inevitable, make sure that it is a responsible and orderly withdrawal,” Qureshi told the Britain’s Sky News during an interview.

“And what we saw on the TV screens?” the interviewer asked Qureshi.

“It was not responsible and not orderly. You see, why was there such a rush?” Qureshi responded.

The foreign minister’s comments come two days after the final U.S. troops were evacuated from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war after 20 years of military involvement.

Qureshi said peace negotiations should have moved “in tandem with the withdrawal so that there is no sense of insecurity, anxiety.”

He also said the international community had made a mistake in abandoning the Afghan people in the 1990s. When asked what would happen if that mistake were made again, Qureshi responded that it “could lead to a civil war.”

“This could become chaotic, there could be anarchy, and that will give space to the organizations that you all dread. The international terrorist organization that we do not want their footprint to grow in Afghanistan,” he added.

When asked if he thought people should have sympathy for the Taliban, Qureshi said “they should have learned from their mistakes.”

“And I think the attitude and the approach that they are demonstrating so far is reflective of a different approach,” he added.

When pressed on if he thinks they have changed, Qureshi said they should be tested.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed when militants opened fire in an Afghan border district on Sunday.

The Pakistani army said it responded to the incident by launching its own offensive, which killed two or three attackers, Reuters reported.

Tags Afghanistan conflict Taliban War in Afghanistan
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