Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz says peaceful resolution of all longstanding issues is the only way forward for boosting regional cooperation and connectivity.
Addressing Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar on Sunday, he stressed the need for evolving a joint and purposeful strategy for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The Adviser said Pakistan is ready to extend every kind of cooperation for stability and development in Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan should avoid levelling false and baseless accusations on Pakistan.
He said Pakistan had laid down the foundations of Heart of Asia Conference with the collaboration of Turkey six years ago.
Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan’s participation in the Conference is the reiteration of its resolve for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s support to Afghanistan the Advisor said, his country is determined to give Afghanistan trade facility through its territory.
He said the issue of Afghanistan should be solved through negotiations according to the aspirations of Afghan people.
On the issue of Afghan refugees, the Advisor said Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan brethren for last three decades and now it is working with the United Nations for their dignified repatriation and resettlement.
He said the process of voluntary return of refugees to their homes can be extended till December next year.
Sartaj Aziz said that the delay of SAARC Heads of State conference was a severe blow to efforts for regional cooperation.
Addressing the Conference, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for joint efforts to fight terrorism in the region.
He said they are focusing on durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He thanked world leaders for paying attention to the Afghan issue.
Ashraf Ghani welcomed Pakistan’s assistance of worth five hundred million dollars for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
In his address, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and stability in the region.
He said the entire region is facing the challenge of terrorism which needs to be overcome by joint efforts.
The conference is being attended by forty Foreign Ministers and dignitaries of fourteen countries.
Earlier, talking to Indian media in Amritsar, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan wants peace and is ready for talks with India if New Delhi desires so.
Sartaj Aziz said terrorism is one of the issues to be discussed under composite dialogue with India.
He said Pakistan is desirous of peace which requires dialogue. He said any issues can be discussed across the table than through the media. If we do not have structured dialogue, then the dialogue through media increases hostility and negative perceptions.
Adviser to the Prime Minister said Pakistan is committed to peace and security of the region and to promote multilateral peace for this purpose.
Sartaj Aziz also held a meeting with Indian Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Amritsar.
During the meeting, matters pertaining to bilateral interest came under discussion.
Meanwhile, Sartaj Aziz held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar.
Matters pertaining to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also held a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister, on the side lines of Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar on Sunday.
They exchanged views on matters of bilateral and regional interest.
Russia says it was wrong to criticize Pakistan in the Heart of Asia Conference.
Addressing the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar today, Russian envoy Zamir Kabulov said that Sartaj Aziz’s speech at the conference was friendly and constructive.
The Russian envoy said that Afghanistan is pivot of Heart of Asia conference and the agenda of the conference has not been hijacked.
He said being friends and supporters we should avoid the blame game and work together.-UNS