ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Afghanistan’s Hizb-e-Wahdat-e Islami called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on Tuesday to discuss matters of mutual interest including the Pakistan-brokered United States-Taliban peace talks.
The delegation, led by former Afghan president Muhammad Karim Khalili, arrived in Islamabad on Monday on a two-day visit. It is also scheduled to call on Prime Minister Imran Khan and National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser.
During the meeting, Qureshi reiterated Islamabad’s stance that there was no military solution to the long-running Afghan conflict, saying only political dialogue could resolve the conflict.
Welcoming the progress made during the on-again, off-again intra-Afghan talks, Qureshi expressed optimism about the second round of talks being held in Doha.
He emphasised that the regional peace was linked to the stability in Afghanistan and expressed satisfaction over the progress in intra-Afghan dialogue, saying it provides a unique opportunity to the Afghan leadership which must be seized for peace in the country.
Qureshi regretted that India is acting as a spoiler in Afghanistan and we have presented irrefutable evidence in this regard before the world community.
The foreign minister shared that the government was taking concrete steps for the promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that Pakistan has also introduced a new visa policy to facilitate the Afghans.
Khalili thanked the foreign minister for hosting the Afghan refugees over the last many decades and praised Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process.
Khalili belongs to the Shia Hazara community from the Northern Alliance and his visit is a part of Pakistan’s ongoing policy to reach out to political leadership in Afghanistan to forge a common understanding on the Afghan peace process and deepen people-to-people ties.
His visit comes on the heels of the start of intra-Afghan peace talks between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban.
Khalili is visiting Pakistan at a time when Afghanistan is rife with rumors of the formation of an interim government to help push the political reconciliation in war-torn Afghanistan.
The country’s fraternal ties with Afghanistan are rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions, a Foreign Office statement said. The premier, on many occasions, said that Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.
Pakistan remains steadfast in its support for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, it added.