Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday said that Pakistan valued the United Kingdom's balanced role in global and regional affairs, according to a statement issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
"We look forward to optimise the strategic potential of our relationship based on convergences," he was quoted as saying by the military's media wing during a meeting with British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner.
During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including the recent developments in the Afghan peace process and collaboration in the fight against Covid-19 were discussed, it added.
The ISPR said that the visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan's continuous efforts for peace and stability in the region and pledged to further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.
The meeting took place the same day Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Chairman Abdullah Abdullah on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) in Turkey.
Recalling the successful visit of Abdullah Abdullah in September 2020, the foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s policy of maintaining the broad engagement with Afghan political leadership to forge deeper mutual understanding on the bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process, the FO said in a statement.
FM Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s meaningful contribution to facilitate the direct talks between US and Taliban as well as the Afghan parties.
He reiterated that it was now up to the Afghan leaders to seize the historic opportunity afforded by the intra-Afghan negotiations for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive settlement. He urged the Afghan leaders to expedite progress in intra-Afghan negotiations for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The foreign minister added that the progress in the Afghan peace process was critical to reduce space for spoilers, who did not wish to see return of peace in the region. He underscored that negative statements and blame game only served to vitiate the environment and strengthen the hand of spoilers who wished to derail the peace process.
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