Qureshi, Atmar hold telephonic conversation to discuss peace, bilateral ties

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a telephonic conversation with Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar has called the need for putting guard against ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see return of peace and stability.

The two sides exchanged views on matters relating to Afghan peace process, bilateral relations, repatriation of Afghan refugees and regional connectivity.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan supported a peaceful, united and stable Afghanistan.

He underlined Pakistan’s positive contribution to Afghan peace process and expressed hope that the Afghan leadership would seize this historic opportunity through Intra-Afghan Negotiations to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan by achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

“Pakistan will respect the decisions taken by the Afghan nation about their future through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” he said.

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The Foreign Minister welcomed the increasing high-level bilateral visits, including the recent visit of Speaker of Afghan Wolesi Jirga Mir Rahman Rahmani, and the holding of Pakistan-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Forum in Islamabad.

He also underlined the commitment to further deepen trade and economic ties between the two countries and efforts to enhance connectivity.

Highlighting the importance of a time-bound and well-resourced road map for the repatriation of Afghan refugees, Qureshi emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to safe and dignified return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

He commiserated over the loss of lives in the unfortunate incident at a stadium in Jalalabad where Afghan local authorities were managing visa applicants.

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The Foreign Minister highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan side to facilitate Afghans wishing to visit Pakistan.

In this regard, he highlighted that the new visa policy was aimed at further easing people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

Later, Haneef Atmar in a tweet said he held a “constructive discussion with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

He said the discussions focused on Afghan peace process, regional connectivity and solving the recent visa issues by increasing consular service capacity.