FM Qureshi telephones German and Finnish counterparts

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – November 3, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi held telephonic conversations, Monday, with counterparts in Germany and Finland, exchanged views on bilateral relations, COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, prevalent situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and the Afghan peace process.

According to press releases, in his conversation with German FM Heiko Maas, expressed condolences on the loss of precious lives due to COVID-19 pandemic and commended Germany’s effective strategy to contain the virus.

He thanked his German counterpart for assistance provided to Pakistan against the COVID-19 pandemic, underscored that collective effort by the international community was the only way forward.

On the situation in IIOJK, FM Qureshi shared deep concerns over the increasingly deteriorating human rights’ situation as well as the intensification of the military crackdown by Indian occupation forces and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

He underlined Pakistan’s positive contribution to Afghan peace process and expressed the hope that the Afghan leadership will seize this historic opportunity through intra-Afghan negotiations to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan by achieving an inclusive, broad-base and comprehensive political settlement.

FM Qureshi added that Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, stressed the need to guard against the role of spoilers who did not wish to see the return of peace and stability.

He expressed concerns on the current rise of Islamophobia, racism and hate speech in Europe, mentioned that denigration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through publication of caricatures was hurtful to the Muslim Ummah.

The growing insensitivities to the sentiments of Muslims worldwide by the proponents of freedom of expression had made minorities in those countries vulnerable, there is an urgent need to promote inter-faith harmony.

The two sides agreed to continue close and consistent engagement to enhance cooperation in all spheres of shared interests.

In his conversation with Finnish FM Pekka Haavisto, briefed that Pakistan’s timely and effective response to the COVID-19 crisis was lauded as a success story internationally; Pakistan’s strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic was based on prime minister (PM) Imran Khan’s emphasis on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy.

The two sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of recent developments. Noting Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process, FM Qureshi underscored the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

Noting the visits of Afghanistan’s high council for national reconciliation (HCNR) chairman Abdullah Abdullah and Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (WJ) — the lower house of Afghan parliament — speaker Mir Rehman Rehmani to Pakistan, he stressed that the Afghan parties must seize this historic opportunity to establish durable peace and stability in Afghanistan through intra-Afghan negotiations.

FM Qureshi highlighted the need to be cognisant of the role of spoilers which could derail the efforts for peace and stability.

He expressed deep concern over the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK, the intensified military crackdown by Indian occupation forces, and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

FM Qureshi called upon the international community to take cognisance to the egregious human rights’ abuses in IIOJK and to facilitate efforts to resolve the dispute in accordance with the united nations (UN) security council (UNSC) resolutions.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to expand bilateral relations especially in the area of trade, investment and support at international fora, it was agreed to continue close engagement to enhance cooperation in all spheres of common interest.