ISLAMABAD: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Friday and exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral matters and regional and international issues.
Recalling his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister underlined the importance of a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and regional stability.
The Prime Minister noted that it was critical to stabilize the security situation in Afghanistan, take steps to consolidate peace, and preclude any mass exodus. In this context, preventing humanitarian crisis and stabilizing the economy were the urgent needs, he added.
The Prime Minister stressed that the international community should stand in solidarity with the Afghan people, undertake positive engagement, and create incentives for ensuring a peaceful, stable and inclusive polity.
The Prime Minister also cautioned against the role of “spoilers”, both inside and outside Afghanistan, which could destabilize the situation.
The Prime Minister further sensitized the UK side on the gross human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), including the inhuman snatching away of the mortal remains of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the senior Kashmiri leader.
On the bilateral plane, the Prime Minister inter alia noted the long-standing relationship and strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.
The Prime Minister shared concerns on the retention of Pakistan on the Red List, causing inconvenience to dual nationals.
Matters relating to climate change, peace and stability in South Asia, and global geopolitical situation were also discussed.
Meeting with Gen Bajwa
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday to discuss “issues of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and measures to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields”, the military’s media wing said in a press release.
“Both sides agreed to continue exploring avenues for collaboration in defence, training and counter terrorism domains,” the statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
“COAS reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to make all-out efforts to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and supports an all-inclusive Afghan government.”
“Both reiterated the desire to further enhance bilateral relations, including efforts for peace and security in the region and fight against Covid-19.”
“The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan situation, including successful evacuation operations, regional stability and pledged to play their role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels,” it added.
Raab arrived in Pakistan on Thursday and was welcomed by foreign ministry and British High Commission officials after he landed at Nur Khan Airbase.
In a press conference on Friday at the Foreign Office alongside Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Raab said: “We do not recognise the Taliban as a government, but we do see the importance of engaging and having direct line of communication with them.”