Pakistan supports Afghan peace, stability: FM

FO rejects Indian insertion on FATF debate about Pakistan

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OUR CORRESPONDENT
ISLAMABAD
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi renewed on Saturday Pakistan’s commitment to establishing a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Addressing the inaugural session of a conference titled Lahore Process at Bhurbhan, Murree, he said Pakistan has wholeheartedly facilitated Afghan peace process as a shared responsibility. The foreign minister said a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region. Prime Minister Imran Khan for long has been personally committed to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, he added. He said he undertook his first foreign trip to the neighboring country after assuming the charge of the foreign minister and he had visited Kabul thrice so far. Qureshi told the participants that Pakistan had been playing its due role to bring a solution to the Afghan conflict. Pakistan is supporting the Afghan peace process following the principles of mutual respect and non-interference, he added. He said the Afghan conflict can only be resolved through the political process. The minister said the common enemies of both Pakistan and Afghanistan had damaged bilateral relations between them, adding the two countries needed to take measures to build mutual trust. Highlighting Pakistan’s role to bring peace to the region, he said it had been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for four decades. More than 50 delegates, including heads of all Afghan political parties and the political advisor to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, are attending the moot. Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, senators and members of Afghan parliament are also in attendance. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi talking to his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani here said Qatar is playing an important role in overcoming the energy crisis in Pakistan. He said this during one on one meeting in which both the leaders discussed bilateral relations and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan has regarded the statement issued by India regarding the Financial Action Task Force report as preposterous and unwarranted. In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said this is yet another evidence of India’s relentless efforts to politicize the deliberations of FATF for its narrow, partisan objectives. The spokesperson said Pakistan has consistently shared its concerns on this account with the FATF chair and members in the past and drawn their attention to high-level political statements and media leaks from India to cast Pakistan in a negative light and plead for Pakistan’s downgrading.

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