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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office said on Thursday that Pakistan believed in peaceful neighbourhood and reiterated that it would continue engagement with Afghanistan on different issues for regional peace and stability amid international condemnations against the Taliban interim government’s decision to suspend the university and higher education of females in the country.

Speaking at her weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch urged the Afghan interim authorities to revisit their decision of banning girls from education as they had full right to participate in all aspects of life.

She said Pakistan had expressed its disappointment on the suspension of university and higher education for female students in Afghanistan.

“Our position on this issue has been clear and consistent. We strongly believe that every man and woman has the inherent right to education under the injunctions of Islam. We strongly urge the Afghan authorities to revisit this decision. We cannot deprive the enterprising and innovative Afghan women the right to progress and to follow their dreams. They have full and equal rights to participate in all aspects of life,” she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Taliban interim government’s higher education ministry through a notification announced its decision to suspend the university and higher education of the female in Afghanistan until further notification which drew international condemnations.

On the border-related issues and the cross border attacks, the spokesperson said Pakistan and Afghanistan had the mechanisms of talks to resolve issues which yielded positive results. She said war and instability in Afghanistan caused huge loss to both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is committed to countering terrorism and we will definitely defeat the terrorists again,” she said, adding Pakistan would take all required steps to protect its sovereignty and the citizens.

About Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s visit to the United States, she said the trip would “definitely yield positive” outcomes for Pakistan, adding the visit was an important step towards further strengthening Pakistan’s broad-based bilateral ties with the United States.

Responding to a question about the purchase of oil from Russia, she said at present, Pakistan was not buying oil from Russia, adding the government was using every avenue to meet the country’s energy demand.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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