It would be a big mistake to ignore Afghanistan this time around, Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif said at the meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) heads of state in Samarkand. At the outset of his address, the premier deviated from the text of his speech as he talked about Afghanistan, reported ‘Dawn’. “As you know Pakistan is a neighbouring country of Afghanistan, and peace in Afghanistan will ensure peace in Pakistan,” he said. “In other words, what is good for Afghanistan is good for Pakistan and vice versa.” He went on to say that the world would have to work together to support all “good initiatives” in Afghanistan. “Therefore, it will be a big mistake if we ignore Afghanistan this time around.” Shehbaz said the international community must support efforts to build a sustainable Afghan economy. “Unfreezing Afghanistan’s financial assets remains a crucial need in this regard. Afghan authorities would do well to build a future based on inclusiveness and respect for human rights for all citizens, especially women and minorities, including effective steps against terrorism, he added.
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