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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held wide-ranging talks with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, today.

The latest situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan-UK bilateral relations, and issues of mutual interest were discussed.

The Foreign Minister noted that Pakistan as an immediate neighbour had suffered the most for decades due to conflict and instability in Afghanistan. As such, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in vital interest of Pakistan and the region.

The Foreign Minister added that Pakistan was in close contact with regional and international partners, stressing the safety and security as well as protection of the rights of all Afghans and an inclusive political settlement.

The Foreign Minister underscored that in light of changed reality in Afghanistan, the world community had to take pragmatic and practical approach. It was essential to stay engaged in order to support the people of Afghanistan, economically and to help rebuild. The urgent priority, the Foreign Minister emphasised, should be to address the dire humanitarian needs and to ensure economic stability. This was indispensible for preventing any exodus of refugees.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that Pakistan had facilitated evacuation of over 12,000 people, which included diplomatic personnel and staff of international organizations and others.

The Foreign Minister also raised the issue of egregious human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK), including the dastardly act of snatching of human remains of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Reiterating concerns over Pakistan’s retention on the UK’s ‘Red List’ for travel, the Foreign Minister urged reconsideration of this decision by the British Government.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted Pakistan’s tremendous progress in implementation of the FATF Action Plan and hoped that no attempt to politicize this process would be allowed.

In the context of bilateral relations, it was agreed that the strong Pakistan-UK bilateral relations must be further expanded, especially in the economic and trade spheres.

The two Ministers reaffirmed the resolve to upgrade the relationship from the current Enhanced Strategic Dialogue to the next level.

In 2022, the two countries will be celebrating 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

3 September 2021

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