Qureshi invites Afghan FM to Islamabad


Praises UAE mediation for peace between India, Pakistan

Observer Report

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi invited on Sunday Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Haneef Atmar to Islamabad following the Istanbul conference, scheduled to be held later this month.

The invitation was extended during a telephonic conversation held between the two foreign ministers in Dubai, a day after Qureshi reached UAE on a three-day visit.

During the conversation, they discussed the progress made so far on the Afghan peace process.

Speaking to the Afghan minister, Qureshi maintained that a peaceful, stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan, adding that the country wished for a reduction in violence in the war-torn country.

Qureshi further said that Pakistan is a partner in the efforts for peace in the region and is committed to continue its conciliatory assistance to make Afghanistan peaceful and stable.
The foreign minister hoped that the “Istanbul Process” would help make the Doha Agreement successful in its efforts to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan.

The Afghan foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s continued diplomatic, political and moral support in making the Afghan peace process fruitful, thanking Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood and the Pakistani leadership. Both the foreign ministers agreed to meet in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with Gulf News on Sunday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi lauded the UAE’s role in the Pakistan-India mediation leading to cease fire on Line of Control in Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Qureshi for the first time acknowledged that there have been ‘sittings’ in the UAE.

“Pakistan has lot of trust and confidence in the UAE as the UAE has been a tested
friend of Pakistan for decades.

The ruling family members have been very close to Pakistan. We consider UAE leaders friends and well-wishers of Pakistan.”

He further elaborated: “UAE has sizeable number of Pakistanis and the presence of Indians is even higher.

Obviously, looking at the interest of peace and stability in the region, it only
makes sense that the UAE feels that two players (Indian and Pakistan) in this region, who are estranged, should sit together and talk out their differences.”

Qureshi added that Pakistan always welcome third party mediation whether it is UAE or any other country.

However, he denied reports about a possible meeting with Indian External
Affairs Minister S Jaishanker who is also visiting Abu Dhabi.