Shah Mahmood Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has warned that Afghan peace process has entered into a crucial phase and there is a need to be cognizant of the elements that want to sabotage the peace efforts in Afghanistan.
The foreign minister expressed these views during a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad who called on him here on Wednesday.
Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to continue to play its reconciliatory role in establishment of peace in Afghanistan with sincerity through collective responsibility.
The minister said that Pakistan is ready to cooperate with regional and international stakeholders for enduring and peaceful political solution to the Afghan issue.
Terming the progress on Afghan peace process very encouraging so far, the minister said the development of whole region depends on establishment of peace in Afghanistan. He said the agreement of all sides on intra-Afghan dialogue and announcement of negotiating teams is a good omen that will pave the way for permanent and lasting peace in that country.
The minister said that Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees for the last forty years and international community should lend its hand in honourable repatriation of them.
Ambassador Khalilzad while expressing sorrow over the terrorist attack on Karachi Stock Exchange appreciated the timely action and exemplary valiance and bravery of security personnel.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq were also present on the occasion.
Later in a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that India has been continuously trying to destabilize Pakistan to divert attention from its own internal chaos.
He said that India is interfering in Balochistan province of Pakistan at the same time it is also adversely affecting peace efforts in Afghanistan. The minister said he has apprised US Special Representative about Indian intentions.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said terrorists involved in Stock Exchange attack wanted to make people hostage, but Pakistani security personnel successfully foiled their bid. He said India wants incidents of terrorism to divert world attention. He said it is India, which orchestrated the drama of Pulwama attack.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday.
During the telephone call, the two top diplomats discussed a range of matters, including bilateral ties, situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic and peace process in war-torn Afghanistan.
Underscoring the need for collective efforts on Afghan peace, FM Qureshi said that restoration of peace in Afghanistan is vital for stability in the region.
Exchanging views on the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions, the foreign minister briefed top EU diplomat about the latest situation in Pakistan as well as the steps being taken by the government to cope with the challenge.
He also apprised Josep Borrell about the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for global initiative for debt relief for developing countries. FM Qureshi expressed grief over loss of precious lives due to the COVID-19 in EU. – TLTP