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With a focus on Afghan situation, FM Qureshi to set off on four-nation tour

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will undertake visits to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran from August 24-26 to discuss the regional situation following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office stated that during the visit the foreign minister will have high-level interactions to exchange views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and on enhancing bilateral relations.

“In the consultations, foreign minister Qureshi will share Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan,” the statement added.

“Pakistan believes that the neighboring countries have a vital stake in the peace, security and stability of Afghanistan and the region. It is important to coordinate closely with the neighbours to address common challenges and advance shared goals of peace, security, stability and regional connectivity, it further stated.

The statement added that in the bilateral context, the foreign minister’s visit to these countries will build on the recent high-level exchanges to further intensify close cooperative relations.

“Pakistan desires to further deepen and broaden its multifaceted cooperation with these partners,” it underscored.

The foreign minister’s visit would help promote a coordinated regional approach as well as strengthen Pakistan’s engagement with Central and West Asia.

A day earlier, Qureshi said Pakistan desired a better future for Afghanistan and supported a conducive environment to help the Afghan people achieve the goals of development and prosperity.

He stressed that international community must restore ties with Afghanistan for the betterment of its people.

The foreign minister in a statement stressed that the protection of the lives of the people in Afghanistan and the sanctity of human rights was of utmost importance.

He said Pakistan was not focusing on negotiating with a particular group in Afghanistan.

Qureshi said he would visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran and consult with the leadership on the situation of Afghanistan.

He mentioned that Afghanistan was a multi-ethnic country inhabited by people other than Pashtuns as well.

In this context, he said, Pakistan wanted a government in Afghanistan which was broad-based and inclusive.

He warned that anti-peace elements as “spoilers” were still active in Afghanistan, who did not want a lasting peace in the country.

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