Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan during a conversation with his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar by telephone.
Qureshi called the Intra-Afghan Negotiations an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
Highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade with its neighbouring Islamic country, he drew Atmar’s attention towards proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets.
He said that it is a special initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions. He expressed the hope that an MoU to set up markets will be signed soon.
Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed concern on the upsurge in violence in Afghanistan and stressed on continuing peace talks which would also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire.
During the call, 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, providing them an opportunity to return to their families.
The Intra-Afghan Negotiations had provided a window of opportunity for return of lasting peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution to the conflict and a political settlement was the only way forward. Pakistan would continue to play its positive role towards supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan, concluded Qureshi.