ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi made a telephone call to his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on Monday and discussed the matters of mutual interests with him.
Shah Mahmood while highlighting Pakistans policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, drew FM Atmars attention towards proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets. He underlined that it was a special initiative of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions. The Foreign Minister expressed hope for the earliest finalization of the MoU.
Reiterating Pakistans consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister underlined that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) provided an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
He expressed concerns on the high level of violence in Afghanistan and emphasized progress in the IAN which would also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire.
During the call, Foreign Minister 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 back 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 of the Afghan 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.