Pakistan Making Efforts for Success of Afg Peace: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Pakistan is making sincere efforts for success of the Afghan peace process.

Addressing Seventh Round of Pakistan-Afghanistan Track-II Dialogue here on Tuesday, he said he has visited different countries and also held several meetings with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad for peace in Afghanistan.

He said peace in Afghanistan is imperative for regional connectivity. He said Afghan people themselves have to decide their future.

Inviting Afghanistan to build a new future and make a new beginning, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan and Afghanistan have shared future.

He said Pakistan played its due role in development of Afghanistan, pledging projects worth one billion dollars.

The Minister said Afghanistan is a Pakistan’s major trading partner, and the two countries do trade through rail and road.

He said Afghanistan’s importance in regional connectivity cannot be ignored as completion of projects with Central Asian states such as TAPI and CASA-1000 is not possible without Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, United States Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalizad concluded his two-day visit to Pakistan where he held discussions with the country’s leadership to review the developments of the Afghan peace process.

“Ambassador Khalilzad requested and received support for the need to accelerate intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations as well as a reduction in violence, concrete steps necessary for a comprehensive settlement,” the US Embassy said in a press release on Tuesday.

During his visit, Khalilzad met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior military officials.

“Ambassador Khalilzad expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Khan’s recent remarks in support of the peace process and broader vision for stability and prosperity in the region,” the press release further said.

In his meetings, Khalilzad reiterated that the end to the war would bring long overdue peace and stability for the Afghans and an independent Afghanistan that precludes it from being used by terrorists to attack the United States or any other country.

“In addition, peace holds particular significance for the region by facilitating regional economic integration. Ambassador Khalilzad said such integration contributes to advancing PM Khan’s vision for a development-centric transformation of Pakistan,” the press release added. — NNI

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