Pakistan calls for 'positive engagement’ with Afghanistan via ‘practical steps’



Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the efforts for stabilisation in Afghanistan would be reinforced by respect for the rights of all segments of Afghan society and an inclusive political structure.

The premier stressed the importance of the international community’s engagement with Afghanistan through "positive messaging and constructive practical steps", a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

PM Imran expressed these remarks during a bilateral meeting with President of Iran Seyed Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Dushanbe.

Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI🇵🇰 had a bilateral meeting with President of Iran Seyed Ebrahim Raisi 🇮🇷 on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Dushanbe, today. #PMIKvisitsTajikistan#PMIKatSCOSummit https://t.co/hUmTumH8B1 pic.twitter.com/NNOEeEkGhn
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) September 16, 2021

The official statement said that the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Read more: PM assures Tajik business community of all-out facilitation

It also added that the prime minister conveyed heartfelt felicitations to President Raisi on his victory in the recent presidential elections in Iran. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue working with Iran to further strengthen and expand brotherly ties between the two countries, it added.

Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI meets H.E. Ebrahim Raisi, President of Iran at Dushanbe.#PMIKvisitsTajikistan#PMIKatSCOSummit pic.twitter.com/bwGf9TL1P0
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) September 16, 2021

According to the communique, the wide-ranging talks covered the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, with a special focus on trade and the economic sphere and regional connectivity. The premier highlighted his economic security agenda and Pakistan’s shift from geopolitics to geo-economics.

PM Imran thanked Raisi for Iran’s consistent support on the Kashmir dispute, especially by the Supreme Leader. He highlighted the grave human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and added that Iran’s just and principled position is a source of strength for the Kashmiri people, fighting for their right to self-determination.

Also read: Deal with Tajikistan to be signed soon

On the situation in Afghanistan, the statement said, the prime minister underscored Pakistan’s vital interest in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

He stressed that there was an opportunity to finally end the conflict and war in Afghanistan after 40 years. "It was essential to take urgent steps to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan, prevent humanitarian crisis and stabilise the economy, he added.

The prime minister appreciated Iran’s support for Pakistan’s initiative on engagement with Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries for a coordinated approach, the official communiqué added.

He reiterated his cordial invitation to President Raisi to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. For his part, Raisi invited PM Imran to visit Iran, the PMO statement further said.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)