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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Thursday welcomed the understanding reached between director generals of military operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India for ‘strict observance’ of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC), saying it could be a good start for future, if New Delhi strictly abides by the accords in good faith.

The foreign expressed these views in a statement in the wake of the rare hotline contact between the DGMOs of the two countries following which a joint statement was issued which says, “both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24/25.”

Qureshi said the constant violation of the Ceasefire Agreement is not only posing a serious threat to peace and stability, but it is also causing rise in tension in the region.

Qureshi said Pakistan has been protesting against the violations of the ceasefire agreement by India, adding that he had written several letters to the secretary general of the United Nations and the president of Security Council, drawing attentions of the international community to India’s constant violations of the agreement and targeting the civilian population.

He pointed out that among all the Confidence Building Measures (CBM) between the two countries, the most important was the Ceasefire Agreement.

The foreign minister pointed out that peace and stability in the region was not possible unless the just resolution of Kashmir dispute.

“How can we make progress on the issue of Occupied Kashmir unless the environment is conducive? Indian government has to revisit its Kashmir policy,” he asserted.

Qureshi said Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all its neighboring countries and also described India’s readiness for observance of the ceasefire as a ‘late but a right’ step.

In a separate statement on the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Sri Lanka, the foreign minister said the visit was aimed at further fortifying the longstanding bilateral relations between the two countries and transforming them into an economic partnership.

“We are committed to enhance bilateral trade volume with Sri Lanka to $1 billion,” he said, adding that the two sides also discussed to further activate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He further said it was also decided to grant more scholarships to Sri Lankan students in the educational institutes of Pakistan.

During their talks with the prime minister, he added that the Sri Lankan leadership acknowledged Pakistan’s assistance to the country in dealing with the scourge of terrorism.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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