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APP
October 25, 2020

No country can rival Pakistan in desire for Afghan peace

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APP
October 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Calling the US-Taliban peace agreement a historic opportunity, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday underlined that progress in the intra-Afghan negotiations would help reduce violence and lead to ceasefire.

Qureshi, who met the visiting Speaker of Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga Mir Rahman Rahmani here, also cautioned against the role of ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see peace and stability return to Afghanistan or were averse to strong Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.

Welcoming the visiting dignitary, the foreign minister highlighted the importance Pakistan attached to its fraternal relations with Afghanistan.

He emphasized the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, with increased interaction through the respective Parliamentary Friendship Groups as well as between women parliamentarians on both sides. The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan and highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process.

He said after the Afghans themselves, no other country had a greater stake in lasting peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan.

The foreign minister noted that Prime Minister Imran Khan had repeatedly underlined that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political solution was the only way forward.

He viewed that the US-Taliban peace agreement had provided a historic opportunity to the Afghan leaders to work together and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

On the bilateral relations, the foreign minister stressed the importance of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), noting that the mechanism provided the best platform to address all relevant issues.

He underscored that enormous synergies and complementarities existed in trade and economic fields between the two countries which should be optimally utilized.

He said a new visa regime had been implemented for Afghan nationals, which would facilitate people-to-people links.

Rahmani, accompanied by a high-level delegation, is on a three-day bilateral visit from October, 23 to 25. He will also participate in the “Pakistan-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Forum 2020 - Partnership for Mutual Benefit” seminar in Islamabad on October 26-27.

Meanwhile, addressing the participants of a training course at the National Defense University here, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said a successful foreign policy was linked with national economic stability and considering this, Pakistan had launched an economic diplomacy initiative that was bringing positive outcomes.

Qureshi apprised the audience of the steps taken by his ministry under “Vision FO” initiative to develop the foreign policy on modern lines and enhance its effectiveness.

He said Pakistan had effectively highlighted the Indian serious human rights abuses and violations of international laws in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) at the United Nations Security Council and other world forums.

Qureshi said Pakistan was making sincere and reconciliatory efforts for peace in Afghanistan as well as in the region. “Our efforts for regional peace are also getting global recognition,” he added.