Pakistan Foreign Ministry in a press statement said, that Afghan Foreign Minister, Haneef Atmar on Monday in a telephone conversation spoke with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, both had discussed matters of mutual interest.
According to the statement, Qureshi stressed strengthening trade policies between the two countries, adding to the importance of the Border Sustenance Markets, he underlined a special initiative by Prime minister Imran khan to improve trade across the Afghan border with Pakistan.
“Highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen trade between the two countries, Foreign Minister Qureshi drew Foreign Minister Atmar’s attention towards proposed establishment of Border Sustenance Markets. He underlined that it was a special initiative of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in the border regions”.
Qureshi “expressed hope for the earliest finalization of the MoU”, the statement read.
Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s support to the Afghan peace process and hoped for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Qureshi “underlined that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) provided an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan”, he also expressed “concern on the high level of violence in Afghanistan and emphasized progress in the IAN which would also facilitate reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire”.
Qureshi demanded the release of Pakistani prisoners detained for minor crimes in the Afghan jails.
Foreign Minister Qureshi raised the “issue of Pakistani prisoners who had been languishing in Afghan jails over minor crimes”.
The released statement indicates, that Qureshi hoped the Afghan president will issue a decree, by providing an opportunity for the prisoners to return home and to their families.
“The Intra-Afghan Negotiations had provided a window of opportunity for return of lasting peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution of the Afghan conflict and a political settlement was the only way forward. Pakistan would continue to play its positive role towards supporting the Afghan Peace Process and strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan” Pakistan Foreign Ministry stated.
This comes as President Ashraf Ghani in a Cabinet meeting said Monday, that a new chapter has been opened in relations between Kabul and United States.
He added that the US our “main partner” relations with Afghanistan will be at the government-to-government level.
According to President Ghani, the American government will consult on a joint-strategy following the review of the US-Taliban agreement in Doha, Qatar.
“A quick review of the US’s deal with the Taliban will be done by the US National Security council and then a fundamental consultation will be done with us,” Ghani said.