Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday said that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, stressing that an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement was the only way forward to achieve peace in the war-torn country.
Qureshi met his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The ministerial meeting will be held on March 30 (tomorrow).
During the meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed various dimensions of bilateral relations, including political and diplomatic engagement, economic cooperation, defence ties, and collaboration in education and cultural fields. Views were also exchanged on the regional situation, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed Cavusoglu on "Pakistan’s consistent support for and positive contributions to the Afghan peace process".
"Underlining that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, the foreign minister stressed that an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement was the only way forward," the FO press release said.
Qureshi emphasised that the progress achieved since the signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement and the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha should be preserved and further built upon to lead the process to its logical conclusion.
He also cautioned against the role of “spoilers”, both within and outside Afghanistan, who he said did "not wish to see return of peace and stability in the region".
Expressing concern on the high level of violence, the foreign minister stressed the imperative for the Afghan parties to work for a reduction in violence, leading to ceasefire.
During the meeting, Qureshi recalled the Turkish foreign minister’s visit to Pakistan in January 2021, highlighting the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries based on shared history and commonality of views. He said the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) had transformed the two countries' bilateral relations into a strategic partnership, according to the FO.
"Qureshi reiterated appreciation for Turkey’s principled and steadfast support on the issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, which has been a source of strength for the Kashmiri people," the statement said.
The two foreign ministers agreed to remain in close contact and maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries.
In a curtain-raiser on the Dushanbe conference, the FO had said that Qureshi would hold “consultations with key regional and international partners” on the sidelines of the event, an important platform for regional cooperation on Afghanistan.
The theme of the conference is “Strengthening Consensus for Peace and Development”.
At the meeting, Qureshi will deliver a statement “highlighting Pakistan’s positive contributions to the Afghan peace process and its support for Afghanistan’s development and connectivity within the regional framework”, the FO said.
The foreign minister, besides participating in the conference, will hold a bilateral meeting with the Tajik leadership.