Qureshi embarks on four-nation tour today

Published December 24, 2018
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia. — File photo
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia. — File photo

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will leave for a visit to four countries on Monday (today) as part of the government’s policy of outreach to the neighbourhood. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and senior officials from the ministry of foreign affairs will accompany him.

The foreign minister will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia from Dec 24 to 26, says a Foreign Office press statement issued in Islamabad on Sunday.

“I will visit these four countries... as contacting the leadership of these countries is the part of agenda for the restoration of peace in the region,” the foreign minister said while talking to the media here.

The foreign minister will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia

During the visit, Mr Qureshi will discuss Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the leadership of these countries to strengthen cooperation in various areas, reports APP.

The visit is part of promoting various initiatives and ideas for regional cooperation, especially for promoting economic and people-to-people contacts.

“Implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is eager to strengthen ties with neighbours and regional partners. Such cooperation is the key to unleashing Pakistan’s considerable potential and expanding mutually beneficial economic cooperation and development,” the FO statement added.

Besides, detailed exchange of views on important areas of bilateral cooperation would take place on the fast-changing regional and international environment, the statement said.

Recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan would also be discussed during these meetings.

Pakistan has always maintained that solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The international community’s recent consensus to adopt this as the guiding principle to resolve the 40-year-old Afghan conflict has vindicated Pakistan’s long held view.

Foreign Minister Qureshi told the media that Pakistan was playing a decisive role to root out terrorism from the region and had scarified thousands of lives for the purpose.

He said that restoration of peace in Afghanistan would bring stability in the region. “We are in favour of the restoration of peace in Afghanistan as eradication of terrorism in that country will bring peace in Pakistan as well. The US also is in favour of restoration of peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

The foreign minister said that the prosperity would come in the region only after peace was restored.

He expressed the hope that one day India would also come to negotiation table.

The foreign minister said that an ambassadors’ conference would be held in Islamabad on Dec 27-28. The conference would help taking measures to bring foreign investment in the country, he said.

“Foreign investment is always required. Direct foreign investment was falling since last few years and it is necessary to bring foreign investment in the prevailing financial situation of the country,” he said.

He said that foreign investment would be beneficial for the country. In case of foreign investment the value of Pakistani rupee and the country’s economy will improve.

“Pakistan will be converted into an attractive country for foreign investment. Foreign investment factor played major role in the development of those countries whose economies have moved forward as compared to our economy,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2018

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