Stable Afghanistan can act as a bridge to Central Asia: FM Qureshi

Web DeskWeb Editor

17th Jul, 2021. 02:30 pm
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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed on Saturday that a stable and prosperous Afghanistan could enable both Islamabad and Kabul to serve as a bridge connecting Central Asia, Arabian Sea and beyond.

Addressing the forum of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) through video-link, the foreign minister said there were numerous shovel-ready projects awaiting peace in Afghanistan, such as the TAPI gas pipeline, CASA-1000 electricity grid from Tajikistan and the railway connecting Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Qureshi said the first phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was nearly complete and the second phase envisages the creation of several Special Economic Zones, which are open to participation of third countries.

“We greatly appreciate the intention of several fraternal and friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and others, to invest in our economy,” he said adding that Pakistan has noted with interest the decision of the G-7 countries to launch the “Build Back Better World” infrastructure initiative which can complement existing initiatives.

Speaking about the Indian atrocities in Kashmir, the minister called for a just solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on the basis of the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

“Positive steps reversing the cause of current tensions can open the way for dialogue and trade,” Qureshi maintained.

He went on to say that the desire for peace and cooperation can emerge from the minds of men and women who, if inspired by reason, and aware of the momentous global challenges confronting humanity, cannot but opt for international cooperation rather than rivalry and confrontation.

“The debates and discussions of the Economic and Social Council are an essential vehicle to promote such recognition of the imperative of cooperation to enable humanity build a shared future of peace and prosperity,” he added.

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