Qureshi welcomes pact with Switzerland on bank account info exchange


Our Correspondent


Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has welcomed an agreement with Switzerland about exchange of information for repatriation of the looted money stashed abroad, and termed it crucial for improving ongoing accountability process in the country.
Talking to the media here on Friday, he said that Switzerland would provide information about Pakistani account holders. The government would have no objection over keeping money in any country if the account-holders would prove their sources of income, money trail and the use of legal channel for sending money abroad.
He said that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad updated him about all matters relating to Afghan peace process and recent delegation-level talks between the United States and Afghan Taliban in a meeting at Foreign Office on Friday. He said that Pakistan always maintained a stance that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, adding that peace in Afghanistan was not only in favour of Pakistan but it would also be beneficial for the region.
Qureshi noted that Pakistan always supported sustainable peace in Afghanistan and it would continue efforts for the purpose. “Pakistan would continue playing its reconciliatory role with sincerity,” he added.
He said that Pakistan did not interfere in the recent presidential elections in Afghanistan, and it facilitated the neighboring country by opening Torkham boarder round-the-clock. He said that inter-Afghan dialogue was also needed after any agreement between US and Afghan Taliban for sustained peace in that country.
Qureshi said that Pakistan always tried to ensure unity in the Muslim Ummah as it was facing numerous challenges including Islamophobia, blasphemous caricature issues and the recent Indian Citizen Amendment Bill, which reflected discriminatory attitude with the Muslim community in that country. He said that Pakistan enjoyed cordial ties with all Muslim countries.
The Foreign Minister said that he called on newly-appointed foreign minister of Saudi Arabia in which he had updated him about the ongoing curfew in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) from last 135 days and human rights violations in the occupied valley. He said that Pakistan had been convincing the international community on IOJ&K issue, adding that it has been discussed in the US Congress and Europian Union also.
He said that American Senator Lindsey Graham was arriving in Pakistan on Dec 16 to discus different issues with him including Kashmir issue. Qureshi said that despite differences among political parties on various issues, defending country’s interests must be their top priority.
Answering a question, the Foreign Minister said that ongoing clash between lawyers and doctors was being tackled by the local administration and there was no interference by the federal government. He said that both parties were educated and sensible, adding that the issue must be resolved in peaceful manner because clash would affect the common man.


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