ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reaffirmed its resolve to facilitate all efforts for a negotiated political settlement of Afghanistan but warned against the role of “spoilers”.
This came during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar.
The telephonic conversation came against the backdrop of renewed efforts to seek a political solution to the Afghan war.
On Thursday, Pakistan, United States, Russia and China issued a joint statement calling on the Taliban not to launch “spring” offensive while at the same time asked the Afghan government to positively engage with the insurgent group.
After their meeting in Moscow, the extended “troika” also made it clear that they would not accept the return of Afghan Taliban, sending a clear message that power-sharing deal is the only way forward.
According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to facilitate all efforts for a negotiated political settlement and in this context also underlined the importance of exercising vigilance against the role of “spoilers”.
The two foreign ministers exchanged views on matters of mutual interest, including Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations and latest status of the Afghan peace process, the statement added.
Reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to the Afghan peace process, the foreign minister underlined that the intra-Afghan negotiations provided historic opportunity to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
Qureshi urged the Afghan parties to work constructively for the shared objective of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.
He underscored the need to remain cognizant of the challenges and impediments in the way, which could be overcome through patience, perseverance and persistence.
In the bilateral context, the foreign minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to forge closer cooperation with Afghanistan in all fields.
He underlined the importance of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) as a vital platform to carry forward the bilateral cooperation on key tracks. The FM also emphasised the need for early conclusion of talks relating to the APTTA (Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement).
Qureshi extended invitation to Atmar to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience. AFP