HCNR chairman Abdullah visits Pakistan

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – September 29, 2020
ISLAMABAD: On Afghanistan’s high council for national reconciliation (HCNR) chairman’s visit to Pakistan, Monday, foreign minister (FM) welcoming the inaugural ceremony of intra-Afghan negotiations, held in Doha on September 12, noted that it was now up to Afghan leadership to seize historic opportunity to bring an end to decades long conflict and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

According to an official statement, Afghan HCNR chairman Abdullah Abdullah met with FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the federal capital.

Welcoming the dignitary and his delegation to Pakistan, FM Qureshi expressed the hope that Afghan HCNR chairman Abdullah’s visit will open a new chapter in bilateral relations and will greatly help to strengthen relations with Afghanistan and forge a common understanding on Afghan peace process.

Emphasising importance of bilateral economic relations, the FM noted that negotiations for preferential trade agreement (PTA) and revision of Afghanistan-Pakistan transit trade agreement (APTTA) will commence soon to optimally utilise our capacities for mutually beneficial trade and transit.

FM Qureshi stated that recently, at the request of Afghan government, Pakistan opened five border crossing-points for facilitating transit trade, bilateral trade and pedestrian movement.

He highlighted one billion dollars’ development and capacity-building assistance that Pakistan has extended to support reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan.

FM Qureshi stressed that the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour should be the part of peace and reconciliation process.

He underlined the high importance Pakistan attached to its brotherly relations with Afghanistan.

Highlighting that terrorism was a common threat, FM Qureshi emphasised the need for close cooperation through bilateral institutional mechanisms including relevant working groups of Afghanistan-Pakistan action plan for peace and solidarity (APAPPS) for effective border management.

He extended best wishes to Afghan HCNR chairman Abdullah in steering the peace negotiations to a successful outcome.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast support to the peace process, FM Qureshi emphasised that Pakistan had always maintained that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and encouraged all parties to reach a political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.

He underscored Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan and stressed not to repeat the past mistakes nor let history dictate the future course of action.

FM Qureshi underlined the need to guard against the detrimental role of ‘spoilers,’ both within and outside of Afghanistan, who do not wish to see the return of peace in the region.

Afghan HCNR chairman Abdullah is on his first visit to Pakistan as HCNR chairman.