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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the British Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Mahmood Ahmad today. Views were exchanged on bilateral matters in diverse areas such as tourism, energy and health and issues of regional and international importance. The Foreign Minister underlined the importance of the Pakistani diaspora in promoting linkages between Pakistan and the UK and informed the Minister of State about the government’s plan of granting voting rights to dual nationals.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the rising trend of Islamophobia and underscored the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogue and combating defamation of religions. He stressed that both sides should collaborate closely in this regard. The Foreign Minister highlighted the policies of the Government of Pakistan, its shift from geo-politics to geo-economics, and the steps being taken to create a just and tolerant society.

On Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister highlighted that there was no military solution and that a negotiated peaceful political settlement was essential for durable peace in Afghanistan. The Afghan parties must seize this opportunity to achieve a political solution and promote the objectives of peace and development. The Foreign Minister emphasized that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was indispensible for connectivity and economic prosperity of the region. Lord Ahmad acknowledged Pakistan’s constructive role in support of the Afghan peace process.

The Foreign Minister also briefed the Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth on India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 in IIOJK. He stressed that the onus was on India to take steps for the creation of conducive environment for meaningful engagement and peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

Both sides underlined the need to work closely for furthering Pakistan-UK relations and agreed to remain in close contact. Lord Ahmad’s visit is part of regular exchanges between Pakistan and the UK.

Islamabad
23 June 2021

290/2021
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