Foreign minister chairs second meeting of Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said an overwhelming global consensus on seeking a political solution to the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan had validated Pakistan’s longstanding position.
Chairing the second meeting of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said Pakistan had always believed that lasting peace in Afghanistan could only be achieved through a politically-negotiated process and that there was no military solution to the conflict.
The minister said Pakistan, along with other regional and international partners, was playing its role in supporting the peace process in Afghanistan in good faith and as a shared responsibility.
His statement came as US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad began a tour to key western, Arab and South Asian countries as part of the US administration’s push for seeking a peace deal in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad is expected to have another round of talks with the Taliban in Doha later this month.
The last round also held in Doha is believed to have made significant progress towards finding a political solution. However, the Taliban have so far refused to talk to the Afghan government.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said the advisory council discussed a range of issues related to the country’s foreign policy, including efforts to support peace in Afghanistan and ways to strengthen engagement with Pakistan’s overseas diaspora.
Qureshi apprised the advisory council on his recent visit to the United Kingdom and reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to extend all possible diplomatic, moral and political support to Kashmiris in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking on government’s efforts to engage Pakistani diaspora, the foreign minister underlined that the government was committed to adopt a robust and innovative approach to engage with all segments of overseas Pakistanis.
He informed the council that as instructed by the prime minister, Pakistani missions abroad had been directed to facilitate Pakistani diaspora to the maximum.
The advisory council members discussed various aspects of diaspora engagement including through tourism, trade and investment, legal assistance and education, etc. In this regard, it decided to develop concrete actionable measures.
Next meeting of the council will be held in March.