Pakistan welcomes UN Secretary General’s offer of mediation on Kashmir issue: FM

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 18 (APP):Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday said Pakistan welcomed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ offer of using his good offices in resolving the outstanding issues between Pakistan and India.

He was talking to media here on Tuesday after the concluding ceremony of the two-day International Refugee Conference marking forty years of Afghan Refugees’ presence in Pakistan.

The foreign minister said Indian reaction to the UN Secretary General’s offer showed India was avoiding resolution of the outstanding issues.

He reiterated that Kashmir was an internationally recognized disputed territory and India cannot enforce its illegal unilateral decisions there.

Earlier, addressing the concluding session of the conference, the foreign minister said the participants of the conference applauded the unparalleled solidarity and hospitality of Pakistan and Iran and commended their inclusive policies towards Afghan refugees.

The conference recognized and highly appreciated Pakistan’s generosity and progressive policies that had enabled millions of Afghan refugees and nationals to access refuge, health, education, livelihood and social mobility without any discrimination.

The participants stressed that the ultimate solution lied in Afghanistan and that voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration was the preferred solution for the majority of Afghan refugees.

The participants also highlighted that to enable sustainable return and reintegration, a pre-requisite would be a comprehensive Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process and urgent investment in the priority areas of return.

The conference acknowledged that the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity could yield peace dividends for the entire region, provided that there was a firm political will to implement it.

The conference was attended by more than 500 participants including Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Second Vice President of Afghanistan, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, ministers and other high-ranking representatives of the government.