Islamabad, 4 November 2021 (GNP/ TDI): Foreign Minister (FM) of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, met European Union (EU) Parliamentary Delegation for relations with South Asia. The meeting took place on 3 November. The delegation was led by Nicola Procaccini.
The meeting marked a discussion of EU-Pakistan bilateral relations, regional and international developments.
On this occasion, Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled his meeting with EU High Representative, Joseph Borell, and virtually meeting with European Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). He remarked that Pakistan-EU Strategic Engagement Plan has laid the foundation of multidimensional cooperation between the two sides.
The Foreign Minister also pinpointed that there is an enormous potential for cooperation between the EU and Pakistan in areas of commerce and trade, sustainable development, and climate change.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasized regular interactions between the two sides. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to work on a productive and constructive relationship with the EU.
Additionally, the Foreign Minister highlighted the mutual efficacy of the GSP Plus facility for Pakistan and the EU. He said it has played a crucial role in the growth of trade between the two countries. He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to effectively implement GSP Plus related International Conventions.
Moreover, Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked the EU for extending support to Pakistan in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. He also underscored the initiatives taken by the incumbent government for the welfare of the people.
Developments in Afghanistan
Sharing his views on development in Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister stated Pakistan has mostly borne the brunt of instability in Afghanistan. Therefore, peace and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital interests.
He also called for the international community’s positive engagement with Afghanistan. He said it is imperative for averting a humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister also indicated the negative implications of abandoning Afghanistan at this critical juncture. He urged the international community to assist the people of Afghanistan in their quest for peace, stability, and development.
Moreover, Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s assistance in this regard. He apprised the delegation about the country’s initiative of establishing a platform of six neighboring countries of Afghanistan for facilitating dialogue.
He also briefed the delegation regarding Pakistan’s assistance in the EU’s evacuation operation from Kabul.
Human Rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir
Additionally, Foreign Minister Qureshi accentuated the grim situation of human rights in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Highlighting Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region, he said the country desires amicable relations with all its neighbors. He added the responsibility now lies on India to engage in result-orientated negotiations.
Lastly, the delegation thanked Pakistan for evacuation operations. Both sides agreed to further augment relations between the EU and Pakistan.
The EU Parliamentary Delegation for South Asia is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan. The delegation also held meetings with other government officials.