Qureshi visits Afghanistan, calls for combating terrorism

Qureshi visits Afghanistan, calls for combating terrorism

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday embarked on a day-long visit to Kabul and met with several high-ranking Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani and discussed ways of enhancing bilateral ties, including the need to tackle terrorism.

During the visit, delegation-level talks were held between Qureshi and Afghan officials on various issues ranging from terrorism, border management, economy and trade, closure of the Pakistan Consulate in Jalalabad due to a security crisis and the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) deal, Geo News reported.

The Pakistani foreign minister also held one-on-one talks with Ghani and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and discussed ways of improving bilateral relations. Both Ghani and Qureshi held discussions on peace and stability in the region, jointly working together to combat terrorism and implement the APAPPS agreement, signed between the two countries in April.

After the deliberations, Qureshi handed over a letter from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressed to Ghani, marking the first consignment of 40,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan.

Talking about his visit, Qureshi said, “Today’s visit to Kabul remained very advantageous. I understand that the clouds of fear have faded away.”

He stated that both Islamabad and Kabul had taken a decision to strengthen its ties, adding, “we have come here for the betterment of the people of both countries and we will have to deal with mutual challenges together.”

Qureshi informed that Ghani and Abdullah will pay a visit to Pakistan next month. He further said that an Afghan economic commission will be visiting the country to hold talks. This came after Qureshi underscored the necessity of bolstering the economic ties between Islamabad and Kabul.

When Qureshi was received by his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, the former said that establishing peace and stability is important for the two countries.
“Our challenges are similar and we have to deal with them through mutual cooperation,” the Pakistani foreign minister said.

This is Qureshi first foreign visit to the war-torn country after assuming the role of the foreign minister. Last month, he had said that Afghanistan’s development and prosperity is associated with long-lasting peace in the country.