Islamabad, Dec 10 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has highlighted the need for achieving the goal of a secure and stable Afghanistan for the economic progress and prosperity of the entire region, a Foreign Office (FO) statement said here.
Addressing the eighth ministerial meeting of the ‘Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process’ in Istanbul on Monday, Qureshi said that no other nation could claim to have more historic bonds with Afghanistan nor is any country more desirous of peace and stability there than Pakistan, reports Dawn news.
He noted that Pakistan has continued to host over three million Afghan refugees for the last four decades, and was also playing a critical role for the neighbouring country’s development and reconstruction, including by committing over $1 billion in development assistance.
Qureshi underscored the importance of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) as an important institutional framework for strengthening bilateral relations between the two sides.
While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to lasting peace in Afghanistan, the Minister said the recent resumption of efforts for achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan is a positive development.
He expressed Pakistan’s wish to see the peace process lead to “inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations”.
Following his address, Qureshi also interacted with US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells on the sidelines of the meeting.
During the conversation, matters related to enhancing Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral trade were discussed, according to the Foreign Office.