Vital to take steps to strengthen peace in Afghanistan: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is vital to stabilise the security situation and bring permanent peace to Afghanistan as well as preclude any mass exodus of refugees into Pakistan.

According to a statement of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the premier expressed these remarks during a meeting with Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Monday. ​Views were exchanged on the latest developments in Afghanistan as well as bilateral relations between both leaders.

According to the statement, PM Imran said that Pakistan had suffered enormously due to protracted conflict and instability in Afghanistan. “As such, a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan as well as regional countries.”

At this critical juncture, the prime minister said, it is vital to stabilise the security situation in Afghanistan and take steps to consolidate peace. “In this context, preventing humanitarian crisis and stabilising the economy are the most urgent priorities,” PM Imran was quoted as saying by his office.

The premier stressed that the international community must stand in solidarity with the Afghan people, undertake positive engagement, and create incentives for ensuring sustainable peace, stability and economic development in Afghanistan.

Also more: Italy praises Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan, regional peace

​In the bilateral context, the prime minister said that Italy is a vital partner for Pakistan, stressing the importance of enhanced collaboration in diverse areas, including trade and investments, defence and people-to-people contacts. He also highlighted that the large Pakistani diaspora in Italy constituted a strong bridge between the two countries.

​FM Luigi Di Mario thanked Pakistan for the facilitation of its evacuation operations. He underscored Italy’s commitment to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse fields, the statement added.

He also conveyed an invitation to the prime minister to visit Italy. PM Imran also extended an invitation for Prime Minister Mario Draghi to visit Pakistan, PMO statement further said.

Also read: Italy’s foreign minister in Pakistan to discuss Afghanistan issue

Earlier today, the Italian foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan situation including successful evacuation operations and efforts for regional stability, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The Italian FM, who is on an official visit to Pakistan, expressed these remarks during a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday.

During the meeting, according to the ISPR, matters of mutual interest, regional security, the current situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance for the war-torn country were discussed.

“Pakistan values its relations with Italy and we earnestly look forward to enhance mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interest,” General Qamar was quoted as saying by the ISPR.

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