Pak’s stake in Afghan peace are high: FM Qureshi
Islamabad: Pakistan has high stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan and a lasting solution to Afghan issues was only possible through comprehensive dialogue between all stakeholders, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday as he held talks with his Afghan counterpart.
During a telephonic conversation with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Haneef Atmar, Qureshi congratulated him on successfully holding the second round of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) dialogue in Kabul on August 31.
Atmar called Qureshi and discussed bilateral relations and progress on the Afghan peace process, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
Qureshi reiterated that peace in Afghanistan was the highest priority as Pakistan had high stakes in return of stability to Afghanistan and the region.
Qureshi assured his Afghan counterpart of Pakistan’s consistent support to Afghanistan on its path to peace and development.
He said that it was important that the Afghan leaders seize this historic opportunity and achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
He welcomed the recent developments on the release of prisoners and urged all parties to take requisite steps for the commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiation at the earliest.
Qureshi underlined that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations would also provide an opportunity to address the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour.
It was critical that the return of Afghan refugees should be part of the peace and reconciliation process, he said.
He expressed satisfaction at the successful holding of the Second Review meeting of APAPPS in Kabul.
Qureshi emphasised that the positive momentum after the APAPPS should be followed up by implementing all its decisions.
Both sides agreed that APAPPS provides a comprehensive and pertinent forum to address all issues on key tracks of the bilateral relations.
He said that the return of peace and stability in Afghanistan would strengthen trade and energy corridors between Pakistan and Central Asia and beyond.
The foreign minister also appraised his Afghan counterpart on the details of a recent meeting with an Afghan Taliban delegation in Islamabad.
A high-level delegation from Afghan Taliban’s Qatar-based political office met with Qureshi on August 25 and discussed issues impeding the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue for ending the 19-year-long conflict in the country.
During the meeting, the Afghan delegation, led by Mullah Baradar, the director of the political office, informed Qureshi of the progress made on the peace deal inked between the US and the Taliban.
The peace deal, which calls for the intra-Afghan negotiations, was signed by the US and the Taliban in February.
The deal was brokered to provide for America’s exit from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war and calls on the Taliban to fight against militant groups. (PTI)