Enhanced Pak-US ties imperative for stability in South Asia: FM

FM attends the ministerial meetings, also discuss ties with Japanese & Finland FMs

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Islamabad: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. The Foreign Minister said that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a balanced relationship with the United States that was anchored in trade, investment, energy and regional connectivity. The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating efforts for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. He stressed that only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan, which reflects its diversity and preserves the gains made by the country since 2001, would be able to ensure that Afghan territory is never exploited by transnational terrorist groups ever again. Foreign Minister Qureshi noted that a new political reality had emerged in Afghanistan. While the Taliban should be held to their commitments, the international community has a moral obligation to help the Afghan people deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. He hoped that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging with Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister highlighted the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He underscored the importance of resolving the Kashmir dispute for lasting peace and stability in South Asia. Secretary Blinken appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation of U.S citizens and other nationals from Afghanistan, and its continued efforts for peace in the region.

Adding to this, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met the Foreign Minister of Japan, Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on bilateral relations between Pakistan and Japan as well as on other issues of mutual interest including the situation in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister underscored that Pakistan attaches great importance to its political and economic relationship with Japan. He added that Pakistan views Japan as a trusted development partner. Recalling that the year 2022 will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Foreign Minister called for exploring further avenues to deepen the Pakistan-Japan bilateral relationship in all spheres. Foreign Minister Qureshi shared with his Japanese counterpart Pakistan’s perspective on the recent developments in Afghanistan. He emphasized that the establishment of sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan was of paramount importance for the region and required active engagement on the part of the international community, especially to avert the unfolding of a humanitarian and economic crisis. Foreign Minister Qureshi handed over to Foreign Minister Toshimitsu a Dossier containing evidences of India’s grave violations of human rights, international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Moreover, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Finnish counterpart, Mr. Pekka Haavisto, in New York on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. The two Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest. The Foreign Minister underscored that Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with Finland. He felicitated Foreign Minister Haavisto on the completion of seven decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Foreign Minister expressed Pakistan’s resolve to further solidify its political and economic ties with Finland. He added that reopening of the Finnish Embassy in Islamabad would further facilitate trade relations as well as promotion of people-to-people contacts. Highlighting the importance of exchanging high-level visits, Foreign Minister Qureshi invited Foreign Minister Haavisto to undertake a visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience. Foreign Minister Qureshi also briefed the Foreign Minister of Finland on Pakistan’s perspective regarding developments in Afghanistan. He stressed on the need to promote lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan through active and sustained engagement of the international community to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and their long-term socio-economic development. The Foreign Minister shared with his Finnish counterpart a Dossier documenting India’s grave violation of human rights, international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Likewise, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke with Republican Senator James Risch on the sidelines of his United Nations-related engagements in New York. Senator Risch is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for a broad based, strategic partnership with the United States that would advance the two countries’ shared interests in the bilateral and regional spheres. The Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating efforts for achieving an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. He stressed the importance of a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan to ensuring that Afghan territory is not exploited by transnational terrorist groups ever again. Foreign Minister Qureshi noted that while it was important to hold the Taliban to their commitments, the international community must help the Afghan people deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Senator Risch agreed with the Foreign Minister on the need for continued cooperation between the two countries for peace in Afghanistan.

In addition, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi participated in the Ministerial meeting of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group on UN Security Council reform on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th Session in New York. The meeting was also attended by the Foreign Ministers of other UfC members. Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Qureshi called for making the UN Security Council more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable to address the multiple challenges facing the world. He emphasized that the reform of the Security Council must be decided by consensus and should enhance the representation of all UN Member States. He added that only an acceptable formula with an increase in the non-permanent members, and rotation through democratic elections, can provide more equitable representation for all States on the Security Council. Foreign Minister said that attempts by some states to create new centres of privilege could derail the reform process and exacerbate divisions. He urged that the Member States must be allowed the necessary time and space to evolve a solution acceptable to the entire UN membership. He said that UfC’s principled position offered the only practical solution to the reform of the Security Council. The Ministerial meeting issued a joint press statement on behalf of the UfC group which inter alia, reiterated opposition to the creation of new permanent seats in the Security Council, and underlined that an effective and democratic Security Council cannot be achieved with the addition of new members with exclusive national rights and unequal privileges. The statement noted that in order to help redress historical injustices, efforts towards a reformed Security Council should aim at achieving equitable representation for African countries as well as to ensure an enhanced representation and a greater voice for other developing regions, Small States and SIDS. UfC Ministers called upon all Member States to continue to work constructively to reach a fair and equitable compromise solution that meets the collective interest of all 193 Members of the United Nations.

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