Top diplomats from Pakistan and Afghanistan have discussed ways of boosting bilateral trade wand work on border markets.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on Monday, the Foreign Office said.
Highlighting Pakistan’s policy to strengthen bilateral trade, Qureshi drew Atmar’s attention towards the proposed establishment of border markets.
The Pakistani minister underlined that it was a special initiative of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost local trade and economic activity in border areas. The Foreign Minister expressed hope for the earliest finalization of the MoU.
In a statement from the Foreign Office, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
He said the intra-Afghan negotiations provided an historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement in their country.
He voiced concern at the high levels of violence in Afghanistan and emphasised progress in the ongoing talks.
Headway in negotiations would also facilitate reduction in violence and lead to a ceasefire, Qureshi hoped.
He also raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Afghan jails over minor crimes.
The prisoners would be released in line with the Presidential decree and that they would be given an opportunity to rejoin their families.
“Pakistan has always held there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a political settlement is the only way forward,” he added.
Pakistan would continue to play a positive role towards supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening bilateral relations, he promised.