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May 16, 2021

Progress expected on Afghan peace dialogue: Qureshi

 
May 16, 2021

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said progress is expected in the process of dialogue initiated by the Foreign Office for Afghan peace as peace in Afghanistan is associated with peace in Pakistan. Talking to journalists after offering Eid prayers at the Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya shrine, he said Kashmir and Palestine issues need national consensus and solidarity. As a result of efforts made by him and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Jeddah, 1,100 Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia will soon be released. All governments are united on the issue of Palestine and Kashmir. All Islamic countries are depressed over these issues as the situation in Palestine is deteriorating day by day. The FM said the president, the prime minister and the entire nation are sad over this situation. The Muslim Ummah has to think and play its role in resolving these issues. He said Pakistan cannot solve issues of Palestine and Kashmir alone. The unity of the Muslim Ummah is the need of the hour, he added.

On the issues of Kashmir and Palestine, he appealed to the 65 million people living in Europe to write a letter to the American Congress. The issue of Palestine was discussed by the prime minister and Muhammad bin Salman. He said he has been tasked to discuss the issue of Palestine with the Turkish foreign minister. He said the OIC is proposing a meeting that will bring together all Islamic countries. After the OIC meeting, an attempt will be made to raise the issue of Palestine in the General Assembly and Pakistan will state its position bluntly, he maintained.

Qureshi said the prime minister discussed these sensitive issues with Muhammad bin Salman and Tayyip Erdogan. They and Turkey have a joint strategy to convene a ministerial meeting of the OIC. The issue of Palestine should be taken to the UN General Assembly by uniting 57 Muslim countries. Pakistan and Turkey have decided to jointly convene a meeting of the General Assembly. He said there is a double lockdown in occupied Kashmir, one because of corona and the other due to the Indian Army.

He said the TTP and those who disturb peace are attacking Pakistani troops from Afghanistan. Establishing peace in Afghanistan is the top most priority of Pakistan. If Afghanistan does not face internal anarchy, Pakistan would remain safe. He welcomed the ceasefire between Taliban and Afghan authorities on Eid for three days.

He said Pakistan hopes that a joint conference of Turkey, Qatar and Yemen will be held in Istanbul after Eid on Afghan peace. He said the new US administration has changed its stance over Yemen. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are tested friends and they will work together. He said the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia was a success and that he had signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the release of minor prisoners in Saudi Arabia. Prisoners who are involved in serious crimes such as drugs or murder will be judged according to the law. He said relations with Iran are cordial and there is complete agreement to secure the Pak-Iran border. Border fencing will facilitate border management.