Pakistan satisfied at FM’s regional countries’ visits: Spokesman

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday described as “successful” the visit of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif to some regional countries to evolve consensus for political solution to the Afghan problem.

The Pakistani minister visited China, Iran and Turkey over the past two weeks and held talks with his counterparts of these countries to explore ways for cooperation for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“To review the latest developments and consult regional countries, the Foreign Minister undertook visits to China, Iran and Turkey. The visits were successful in terms of convergence of interest and viewpoints on the situation in the region, including Afghanistan,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.

The visit was conducted after President Donald Trump announced policy for Afghanistan and the region that was viewed in the region as continuation of the military option in Afghanistan.

Regional countries are now of the view that the military option has not been successful over the past 17 years and the focus should be shifted to political dialogue to end the war.

The foreign ministry spokesman said the Foreign Minister Asif stressed in his talks with the Chinese, Iranian and Turkish leaders that no military solution of Afghan conflict and there should be regional solution of the situation in Afghanistan.

The foreign minister insisted that peace in Afghanistan is important for stability in the region and that the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led dialogue is important for peace.

The spokesman said Pakistan has also shared its concerns about the “presence of terrorist outfits in Afghanistan” as safe havens are a threat to regional countries.

Zakaria said the foreign minister also made it clear that blame game serves no one’s interest and is counterproductive in the efforts to counter terrorism, adding Pakistan has contributed immensely in the fight against terrorism and has rendered unprecedented sacrifices, suffered human and economic losses.

Officials say that the visit of the foreign minister was part of consultations ahead of high level engagement on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s session this month. NNI

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