FM hopes early finalisation of MoU on Pak-Afghan border markets

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – January 26, 2021
ISLAMABAD: In his telephone conversation with Afghan foreign minister (FM) Hanif Atmar, Monday, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed hope for earliest finalisation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on proposed establishment of border sustenance markets.

According to a press release, highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, FM Qureshi drew Afghan FM Atmar’s attention towards proposed establishment of border markets.

He underlined the proposed markets as a special initiative of prime minister (PM) Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions.

Reiterating Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, FM Qureshi underlined, “The intra-Afghan negotiations provided a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.”

He expressed concern on the high level of violence in Afghanistan and emphasised, “Progress in the intra-Afghan negotiations will also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire” adding “The intra-Afghan negotiations provide a window of opportunity for the return of lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

The FM noted, “Pakistan has always held that there is no military solution of the Afghan conflict and only a political settlement was the way forward” adding “Pakistan will continue to play its positive role towards supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening of bilateral relations with Afghanistan.”

During the call, FM Qureshi also raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners who are languishing in Afghan jails over minor crimes.

He expressed the hope the prisoners will be released as per the presidential decree, providing them an opportunity to return back to their families.

During the call, matters of mutual interests came under discussion.