By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD : The 5th round of Pakistan – Belarus Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) was held today at Minsk. The Pakistan side was led by Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Additional Secretary (Europe) while Mr. Nikolai Boresivich, Deputy Foreign Minister led the Belarus side. Ambassador of Pakistan, Sajjad Haider Khan and Ambassador of Belarus in Islamabad also attended the meeting.
Talks between the two sides were focused on the whole range of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The Additional Secretary thanked the Belarus side for receiving him despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They expressed satisfaction at the steadily growing cooperation between the two sides in diverse areas, especially the recent interactions between the two governments including the recent visit of Ms. Zubaida Jalal, Minister for Defence Production, to Minsk.
The two delegations discussed progress on implementing various agreements/MoUs signed between the two countries in diverse fields. Both sides agreed on the importance of high level exchanges as well as enhancing collaboration in economic & trade, agriculture, industry, science & technology, information technology, education, culture, tourism and defence sectors. It was also agreed to expeditiously conclude the Agreements/MoUs currently under process. The Additional Secretary highlighted Pakistan’s focus on ensuring economic security through leveraging its geo-economic location, building development partnerships, and promoting regional peace and security. The Additional Secretary also briefed Belarusian side on the government’s efforts to tackle the pandemic without jeopardizing economic wellbeing of people.
Additional Secretary apprised the Belarusian side of Pakistan’s positive efforts in facilitating Afghan peace process with the aim of promoting an inclusive and broad-based political settlement with emphasis on Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The Additional Secretary highlighted the human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and stressed that Indian actions of 5 August 2019 had vitiated the atmosphere and the onus was on India to create an enabling environment for engagement and result-oriented talks. The Additional Secretary stressed the importance of solution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.
Pakistan and Belarus enjoy cordial relations based on commonality of views on issues of regional and global importance. The two countries have been closely collaborating at international fora, especially at the UN.
Consultations ended with both sides agreeing to hold the next round on mutually convenient dates in Islamabad.