FM Qureshi urges provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to Afghans

Newly-appointed Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the media on his first day at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on August 20, 2018. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM / AFP)

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday urged the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

During a meeting with the UK’s Deputy Leader of Opposition in the House of Commons and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner, Qureshi underscored the need for sustained and positive engagement of the international community with the interim setup in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as issues of regional importance. 

Expressing satisfaction at the friendly relationship between the two countries, the foreign minister hoped that the existing cooperation will further strengthen in the future.

The statement added that Qureshi lauded the services of the Pakistani diaspora towards the economic development of the UK and building bridges between the two countries.

He apprised Rayner about the decisions taken during the extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) on Afghanistan. The minister said: “The statements of the Taliban have been encouraging and that the prospects of civil war have been averted.”

The minister briefed the deputy leader about the Opposition on the Indian government’s atrocities in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the innocent civilians in violations of the international humanitarian law.

Rayner, who is in Pakistan on a one-day visit, felicitated Qureshi on the successful conclusion of the extraordinary session of the OIC-CFM in Islamabad, the statement read.

Rayner acknowledged the sacrifices made by the people and security forces of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. Both sides underlined the need to take concrete steps to further expand bilateral economic and commercial ties and stressed the importance of regular interactions.