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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Monday, called for an urgent response to the humanitarian and economic challenges in Afghanistan and stressed the need for immediate steps to alleviate sufferings of the Afghan people.

The call was renewed during a meeting between Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Special Representative of Australia on Afghanistan Daniel Sloper, here at the Foreign Office.

During the meeting, the foreign secretary shared Pakistan's perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan and the way forward, according to a statement of the Foreign Office.

Foreign Secretary Mahmood highlighting that the latest situation provided an opportunity to end the 40-year long conflict in Afghanistan, underscored the importance of international community's sustained engagement to help promote the shared objectives of a peaceful, stable, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan.

While noting that it was encouraging to see the international community constructively engaging with Afghanistan, he also cautioned against the forces that could play the role of "spoilers".

The foreign secretary underscored the urgent humanitarian and economic challenges in Afghanistan and stressed the need for immediate steps to alleviate the sufferings of the Afghan people.

The release of Afghanistan's financial assets was another step that would be helpful in this regard, he noted.

The foreign secretary highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan to provide humanitarian assistance, promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation, regulate cross-border movement of people, foster further coordination among Afghanistan's neighbours, and advance the regional connectivity projects.

Special Representative Daniel Sloper thanked the Government of Pakistan for the assistance extended to Australia and the international community in the evacuation of the diplomatic personnel and others from Afghanistan.

Sharing Australia's viewpoint on different aspects of the Afghanistan situation, he concurred with the need for sustained engagement and highlighted the steps taken to help address the humanitarian situation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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