ISLAMABAD: ABID CHAUDHRY CHAUDHRY
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a telephone call with Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar today. During the call, matters of mutual interests came under discussion.
Highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, Foreign Minister Qureshi drew Foreign Minister Atmar’s attention towards proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets. He underlined that it was a special initiative of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions. The Foreign Minister expressed hope for the earliest finalization of the MoU.
Reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister underlined that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) provided an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister expressed concern on the high level of violence in Afghanistan and emphasized progress in the IAN which would also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire.
During the call, Foreign Minister Qureshi also raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners who had been languishing in Afghan jails over minor crimes. He expressed the hope that prisoners would be released as per the Presidential decree, providing them an opportunity to return back to their families.
The Intra-Afghan Negotiations had provided a window of opportunity for return of lasting peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution of the Afghan conflict and a political settlement was the only way forward. Pakistan would continue to play its positive role towards supporting the Afghan Peace Process and strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan.