ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has reiterated Pakistan’s call for making serious efforts for negociated settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban for achieving lasting peace in the war-torn country.
She remarked while participating in the meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Contact Group on Afghanistan held at the deputy foreign minister-level in Moscow on Wednesday, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov chaired the meeting while deputy foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and representatives of SCO and its relevant bodies attended the meeting.
Afghan peace: Kabul asks Islamabad to hand over five top imprisoned militants
Addressing the meeting, Janjua underlined challenges faced by Afghanistan including deteriorating security situation marked by increasing ungoverned spaces being used to provide sanctuary to the terrorist groups like Da’esh, al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamtul Ahrar (JuA) and increasing drug production which threatened Afghanistan’s neighbours.
She stressed the need for making serious efforts for negotiated settlement between Afghan government and the Taliban for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The foreign secretary also emphasised the importance of early return of Afghan refugees and combating drug production and human trafficking which continued to affect stability of Afghanistan and the region.
Islamabad not to bow to ‘do more’ demands
The members of SCO Contact Group exchanged views on ways and means to support peace and stability in Afghanistan through facilitating Afghan-led peace process, assisting the Afghan government in dealing with security and counter-terrorism challenges and promoting regional economic integration and connectivity.
They unanimously supported measures for strengthening interaction between Afghanistan and the SCO countries.
The member countries welcomed Chinese proposal for hosting the next meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan in Beijing in early 2018.