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Pakistan, Afghanistan need to build trust, says FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi renewed on Saturday Pakistan’s commitment to establishing a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Addressing the inaugural session of a conference titled “Lahore Process” at Bhurbhan, Murree, he said: “Pakistan has wholeheartedly facilitated Afghan peace process as a shared responsibility.”

The foreign minister said a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region. “Prime Minister Imran Khan for long has been personally committed to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” he added.

He said he undertook his first foreign trip to the neighbouring country after assuming the charge of the foreign minister and he had visited Kabul thrice so far.

Qureshi told the participants that Pakistan had been playing its due role to bring solution to the Afghan conflict. Pakistan is supporting the Afghan peace process following the principles of mutual respect and non-interference, he added.

He said the Afghan conflict can only be resolved through the political process.

The minister said the common enemies of both Pakistan and Afghanistan had damaged bilateral relations between them, adding the two countries needed to take measures to build mutual trust.

Highlighting Pakistan’s role to bring peace to the region, he said it had been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for four decades.

More than 50 delegates, including heads of all Afghan political parties and the political advisor to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, are attending the moot. Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, senators and members of Afghan parliament are also in attendance.

The conference is being held ahead of the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan scheduled for Thursday next.

President Dr Arif Alvi will host a banquet in honor of delegates. The participants will also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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