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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau, on Wednesday, exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and the possibilities of providing humanitarian support to Afghanistan.

Qureshi received a video call from the Foreign Minister of Canada, Marc Garneau.

The two foreign ministers reviewed the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan and also discussed possibilities of providing humanitarian support to Afghanistan, according to a statement of the Foreign Office.

In his conversation, Qureshi stressed the need to achieve inclusive political settlement and urged the international community to stay engaged with Afghanistan to put it on the path of progress and prosperity after four decades of conflict.

Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan would continue to provide all possible support in evacuation of stranded Canadian citizens as well as for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

In the bilateral context, the foreign minister of Pakistan called upon the Canadian government to ease the visa regime for Pakistani nationals, in particular students.

He also asked for positive revision of travel advisory for Pakistan like the UK as well as the United Nations and other partners.

The Canadian foreign minister expressed gratitude to Pakistan for supporting the evacuation process and providing logistical support in running rescue missions for Canadian citizens successfully.

He especially lauded the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, in particular its Crisis Management Unit, in ensuring seamless repatriation of Canadian officials and nationals from Afghanistan. He informed that Canada had provided 50 million Canadian dollars of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

This was the third call by the Canadian foreign minister in quick succession, reflective of close coordination and understanding between Pakistan and Canada.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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