Islamabad: November 27(PFP):On the sidelines of the OIC Council of Foreign Minister’s meeting, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a bilateral meeting with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar. During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on Afghan peace process and measures to further strengthen Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister Qureshi extended condolences to his Afghan counterpart over recent terrorist attacks in Kabul and Bamiyan and reiterated Pakistan’s condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations. The Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of reduction in violence leading to ceasefire to save lives and advance peace efforts. Referring to the recent successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Kabul, the Foreign Minister conveyed that Pakistan remained committed to deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. The Foreign Minister underlined that the understandings reached during the visit and the ‘Shared Vision’ issued by the two sides will help take this process forward. Reiterating Pakistan’s steadfast commitment to the Afghan peace process, the Foreign Minister conveyed that Pakistan will continue to facilitate the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. Noting the recent progress in Intra-Afghan negotiations, he also emphasised the need to remain vigilant about the role of ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see return of peace in the region.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed that peace negotiations represented a historic opportunity, which must be seized by the Afghan leadership to establish enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. The Foreign Minister also underlined the need to utilize the tremendous potential in the economic and commercial fields which could be exploited by securing peace in Afghanistan and enhancing regional connectivity. The Foreign Minister further underscored that the Afghan peace process offered the opportunity for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour.
Appreciating Pakistan’s sincere efforts in support of the Afghan peace process, the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan expressed gratitude for the Prime Minister’s visit to Kabul and its important outcomes. He also thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for his participation in the Geneva Conference and reaffirmation of Pakistan’s support for reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan. While reaffirming resolve to closely follow-up on the Prime Minister’s visit to Kabul, the two Foreign Ministers agreed to pursue cooperation in relevant fields under the agreed mechanism of APAPPS.