Can't connect right now! retry
Friday Nov 27 2020
Web Desk

‘Shared Vision’ to boost Pakistan, Afghanistan relations: FM Qureshi

Web Desk
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meets Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting. — Twitter/ForeignOfficePak

On the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting on Friday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed his Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar that the Shared Vision that the countries agreed upon during Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Kabul would help the two countries boost their relations.

The foreign minister is in Niger to attend a two-day Foreign Ministers meeting where he is expected to highlight several pressing matters, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the meeting between both counterparts, the two exchanged views on the Afghan peace process and measures to further strengthen Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations, a statement from the Foreign Office said.

Read more: India's Hindutva ideology is a threat to region's security, FM Qureshi warns OIC

Referring to PM Imran Khan's successful visit to Kabul, Qureshi told Atmar that Pakistan remained committed to deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

He also stressed the importance of "reduction in the violence leading to a ceasefire to save lives and advance peace efforts".

Reiterating Pakistan’s steadfast commitment to the Afghan peace process, the foreign minister conveyed that Islamabad would continue to facilitate the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.

Read more: US assures Pakistan of 'continued assistance' in Afghanistan peace process

Noting the recent progress in intra-Afghan negotiations, he also emphasised the need to remain vigilant about the role of "spoilers" who do not wish to see the return of peace in the region, the statement said.

The foreign minister said that the peace negotiations represented a historic opportunity, which the Afghan leadership must seize to establish enduring peace and stability in the country and the region.

"The foreign minister also underlined the need to utilise the tremendous potential in the economic and commercial fields which could be exploited by securing peace in Afghanistan and enhancing regional connectivity," the statement said.

Speaking about Afghan refugees, the foreign minister said that the peace process offered the opportunity for them to return to their homeland with dignity and honour.

Read more: Pakistan’s role is pivotal in achieving peace in Afghanistan

Meanwhile, appreciating Pakistan’s efforts in support of the Afghan peace process, Afghanistan's foreign minister expressed gratitude for PM Imran Khan's visit to Kabul and its important outcomes.

"He also thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for his participation in the Geneva Conference and reaffirmation of Pakistan’s support for reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan," the statement said.

While reaffirming resolve to closely follow-up on the prime minister’s visit to Kabul, the two foreign ministers agreed to pursue cooperation in relevant fields under the agreed mechanism of APAPPS.

Qureshi landed in Niger on Thursday after which he also met with the OIC Secretary-General Yousef Bin Ahmad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Othaimeen.

During the talks, Qureshi expressed concerns over the serious human rights violations being committed in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Read more: Human Rights Watch slams India's 'abusive' policies in occupied Kashmir

"India aims to change the population ratio in occupied Jammu and Kashmir," the foreign minister informed Al-Othaimeen.

The 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was due to start on Friday in Niamey, Niger.

This two-day session — from November 27-28 — has been long awaited by Pakistan, which had earlier called for an Emergency Session of the CFM to take up the draconian decision of India in which it revoked the special status of the IOJK.

Read more: Pakistan highlights human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir at UNHRC

Representatives of 57 OIC member states and five observer states are expected to attend the meeting.

Aside from the moot, the FM is expected to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts and heads of delegations of member states.