Staff Reporter Islamabad
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said that the peace, prosperity and economic development of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan are linked.
In his virtual address at the 4th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the foreign minister said Pakistan had always strived to strengthen its relations with China and Afghanistan in the bilateral as well as regional context.
“We attach great importance to this dialogue enhancing cooperation and coordination,” he said.
Qureshi said that it was about four years ago that the three countries had conceived this trilateral forum for discussing collaborative efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, enhancing security and counter-terrorism cooperation and deepening regional connectivity and shared economic development through meaningful projects.
The foreign minister said since then, Pakistan had successfully moved forward this forum through a gradual, phased but consistent approach.
He said the United States and NATO forces had already started withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
He said while the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan entailed serious security challenges, it also offered a unique opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and moving the country from a perpetual internal conflict to an era of peace and stability.
“We should, therefore, explore how our three neighbourly countries can work together to deal with the evolving situation in an effective manner and steer it towards achieving our shared objective of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” he said.
The foreign minister said Pakistan, China and Afghanistan were located in a region which had immense opportunities for fostering mutually beneficial economic and development cooperation.