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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s abiding commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the continued well-being of the Afghan people. He was talking to various foreign delegates arriving in Islamabad to participate in the extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

Talking to Secretary General Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr Nayef Falah M Al-Hajraf in Islamabad, the foreign minister reiterated Pakistan’s abiding commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the continued well-being of the Afghan people.

He underlined that the Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers would provide an opportunity to consider practical and concrete steps to help address the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people. Dr Al-Hajraf thanked the foreign minister for according him a warm welcome and hospitality in Pakistan.

Talking to his Kuwaiti counterpart Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Islamabad, Qureshi said situation in Afghanistan is such that it merited positive engagement of international community rather than abandonment, which was a mistake of the past.

Both sides agreed on the need for a collective and coordinated approach and concerted efforts by the Ummah together with the international community for timely provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan to avert a crisis.

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi also held a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Qureshi said Pakistan, being an immediate neighbour of Afghanistan, is making all possible efforts for the humanitarian assistance of the Afghan people.

The foreign minister said we have completed arrangements to provide food and medicines including 50,000 metric tonne of wheat to Afghanistan. He said Pakistan is consistently trying to draw world attention towards the plight of the Afghan people. Shah Mahmood said hosting the OIC meeting is part of those efforts. He said we are trying to give a message to the world community through this meeting to come forward for the peace and stability of Afghanistan, while learning a lesson from the mistakes of the past.

The foreign minister said an inclusive government in Afghanistan and protecting the human rights especially of women are in the interest of the new Afghan setup. Talking to Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ikham Rustamovich, Qureshi agreed that direct flights between Pakistan and Uzbekistan would further strengthen people-to-people contacts.

They also discussed bilateral relations, regional situation and issues of mutual interest. Besides, appreciating Pakistan’s constructive role for peace and stability in Afghanistan, the foreign delegates visiting Pakistan also welcomed the convening of Extraordinary Session as a timely initiative to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, in a tweet, says Pakistan warmly welcomes US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West to attend the 17th Extraordinary OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, being held in Islamabad on Sunday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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