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Tuesday Jan 26 2021

Intra-Afghan talks rare opportunity for lasting peace in Afghanistan: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Photo: Courtesy Radio Pakistan

  • Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Hanif Atmar speak over the phone, discuss Pak-Afghan relations, intra-Afghan dialogue, bilateral trade, peace in the region and more
  • Pakistan determined to establish border market along Pak-Afghan border, says FM Qureshi
  • This was the first high level contact between Afghanistan and Pakistan after the new administration took over in Washington

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan considers intra-Afghan talks a rare opportunity for lasting peace in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told his Afghan counterpart, Hanif Atmar, in a phone call on Monday. 

Qureshi said Pakistan always wanted a peaceful, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Afghan problem.

He said the success of intra-Afghan dialogue is essential for peace and stability in the region.

Read more: No Pakistani diplomat to participate in Indian Republic Day ceremonies: FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Afghanistan was also assured of Pakistan’s cooperation in strengthening bilateral trade and proposed establishment of border sustenance markets. 

“Good connecting with Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar. In line with the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan (we) discussed importance of moving forward with establishment of border markets for stronger bilateral trade. We will continue working closely with Afghanistan for stability in (the) region and for success of Afghan peace process,” Qureshi said in a tweet.

This is the first high level contact between Afghanistan and Pakistan after the new administration took over in Washington and President Joe Biden made it known that they were going to review the deal arrived at by the US with the Afghan Taliban.

Qureshi once again reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. “The foreign minister underlined that intra-Afghan negotiations provided an historic opportunity to the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office.

Read more: No US administration can ignore Pakistan, FM Qureshi says ahead of Biden's inauguration

“Pakistan has always held that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a political settlement is the only way forward. Pakistan will continue to play its positive role towards supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening relations with Afghanistan,” Qureshi told his counterpart. 

The FO did not comment on the views expressed by Atmar during the phone call.