Islamabad [Pakistan], June 14 (ANI): A few months ahead of the September 11 deadline of US drawdown from Afghanistan, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that his country would not take responsibility if it was blamed for the downturn in the Afghan peace process.
His comments come as the United States and its allies are set to exit Afghanistan amid a recent surge in the spring offensive by the Taliban.
"I wish them luck and a good visit but let me spell it down in advance. If the objective of going to Washington is starting a new blame game and holding Pakistan responsible for all the ills (in Afghanistan) and the lack of (progress in the peace) process, then it will not help," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.
While addressing the Pak-Afghan Bilateral Dialogue in Islamabad, the foreign minister said that Afghan peace is a shared responsibility and "nobody is going to buy it anymore that if things go wrong (then) Pakistan is responsible." "We will not take responsibility."
Stressing that Afghanistan needs "leadership that can negotiate" a successful outcome, Qureshi said it was up to Afghans to decide the way forward for the country.
Refuting Pakistan's well-established ties with the Taliban, Qureshi said that their country has no favourites in Afghanistan. "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. Taliban are Afghans."
He further said that a "blame game" between Pakistan and Afghanistan would not achieve anything and called for it to cease, Dawn reported. Moreover, Qureshi expressed concern regarding recent statements from the Afghan vice president and national security adviser.
Last month, Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib had called Pakistan a "brothel house" that has sparked a diplomatic row, evoking a strong reaction from Islamabad.
Pakistan, furious over the Afghan NSA's diatribe, has decided to sever all official links with him. (ANI)