ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made a telephone call to his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on Monday and discussed the matters of mutual interests.
FM Qureshi, while highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, drew FM 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 finalisation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted that the intra-Afghan negotiations provided an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
He expressed concerns on the high level of violence in Afghanistan and emphasised progress in the intra-Afghan negotiations which would also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to a ceasefire.
The intra-Afghan negotiations had provided a window of opportunity for the return of lasting peace in Afghanistan, he said. 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 in supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan, he maintained.
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, so they may be provided with an opportunity to return back to their families.