Pakistan to make another effort for peace in Afghanistan: FM Qureshi

10:49 PM | 10 Dec, 2018
Pakistan to make another effort for peace in Afghanistan: FM Qureshi
ISLAMABAD - Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi Monday said reconciliation in Afghanistan could be achieved through intra-Afghan talks and Pakistan and the United States had launched a peace initiative on the request of President Donald Trump.

He was speaking at the floor of the National Assembly hereafter MNA Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) Abdul Wasay demanded a debate on the foreign policy of Pakistan.

Qureshi said Pakistan, Afghanistan and United States had agreed to work on a reconciliation process and their shared objective was to achieve peace in Afghanistan, adding there was a consensus for taking forward the reconciliation process in the country whose three million refugees were hosted by Pakistan.

The minister told that meetings had been held in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the Afghan issue and the United States had appointed its special representative Zalmay Khalilzad for affairs of Afghanistan.

Pakistan would also seek assistance from the regional countries, including India, Iran, Tajikistan and China, in finding a political and negotiated solution in Afghanistan, he added.

Qureshi said the issue of Kartarpur border opening was under consideration since 1988 and the issue was taken up at different forums but results were achieved now.

The border opening was appreciated by the Sikh community, adding India called a special meeting of the cabinet and announced to provide facilities at the Kartarpura border point and sent two of its minister for the opening ceremony held by Pakistan.

He stated Pakistan sent a message of goodwill through the border opening initiative and urged India to initiate dialogue with Pakistan. He was hopeful that India would review its policy about Occupied Kashmir.

Before the statement of the minister, the house passed the West Pakistan Juvenile Smoking Repeal bill 2018 replacing it with an ordinance of 1959.

Another bill for the repeal of a 1960 law about smoking in cinema houses could not be put before the house after objection by PPP MNA Naveed Qamar that the bill should be first sent to a standing committee.

The Speaker who agreed to the member’s point of view, could not constitute the standing committees because of the difference of opinion between the government and opposition over the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee.

Before the end of the session, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari moved a resolution to mark the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The members unanimously adopted the resolution reaffirming the commitment of the parties in the National Assembly to human rights, protection of minority rights and fulfilling of their obligations towards the safeguarding of social and economic rights of the citizens.

The members through the resolution vowed to work for the strengthening of democratic values, women empowerment and for the reduction in extremism, corruption and social injustice.

The minister assured the house that the government was determined to ensure human rights, rule of law and would look into the issue of missing persons.

She stressed that just demands of different segments of society particularly vulnerable groups should be met and nobody should be stopped from peaceful protest.

On a point of order, Salahuddin MNA from Muttahida Qaumi Movement raised the issue of a bomb explosion in Karachi on Saturday near a religious gathering attended by his party members.