Pakistan making sincere efforts for success of Afghan peace process, says Qureshi


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan is making sincere efforts for the success of the ongoing Afghan peace process and has played its due role in the development of the country.

Addressing the seventh round of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Track-II Dialogue here, Qureshi said peace in Afghanistan is imperative for regional connectivity, and the Afghan people have to decide their future themselves.

The foreign minister noted that he has visited different countries and also held several meetings with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad for peace in Afghanistan.

Inviting Afghanistan to make a new beginning, Qureshi said Pakistan and Afghanistan have a shared future.

Pakistan has played its due role in the development of Afghanistan, pledging projects worth one billion dollars, he added.

Mentioning a number of examples in this regard, the minister said Afghanistan is a major trading partner of Pakistan, and the two countries carry out trade through rail and road.

“Over 50,000 Afghans have studied in Pakistani educational institutes and are now working in the public and private sector in Afghanistan.

“We extended 6,000 fully-funded scholarships to Afghan students. To encourage female education, we [allocated] 100 seats to female candidates from Afghanistan,” he continued.

Qureshi further said Afghanistan’s importance in regional connectivity cannot be ignored as completion of projects with Central Asian states such as TAPI and CASA-1000 is not possible without Afghanistan.