US lauds Pak’s support for political reconciliation in Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stressed that a broad-based and structured framework for dialogue would best serve the shared interests of Pakistan and the United States.

He expressed these views while meeting the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

They discussed Pak-US bilateral relations, overall situation of South Asia including Afghanistan during the meeting.

The Foreign Minister, who is paying an official visit to Washington at Secretary Pompeo’s invitation said that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia.

He highlighted the development-focused and people-centric agenda of the Government, which was contingent on peace and security in Pakistan’s neighborhood.

About Afghanistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan and the United States shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large. He reiterated Pakistan’s support for a political settlement in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister stressed that peace in South Asia, which was a common goal of both the United States and Pakistan, would remain elusive until all disputes, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, are resolved.

Welcoming the Foreign Minister to the State Department, Secretary Pompeo said the United States looked forward to working with the new Government of Pakistan in implementing its reform agenda.

He appreciated Pakistan’s support for political reconciliation in Afghanistan and its efforts for peace in the neighborhood.

Both sides agreed that the time was ripe for the Afghan Taliban to avail the opportunity for a political settlement by seizing the opportunity for dialogue.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met the US National Security Adviser John Bolton at the White House.

In the context of achieving stability in South Asia, Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed his US interlocutor about India’s aggressive posturing in the region.

He said after initially agreeing to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s peace initiative, the government in India had caved into internal politics.

Foreign Minister underscored that, on its part, Pakistan remained committed to engaging India in a comprehensive peace dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.