ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated its steadfast support for Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process. Talking to the outgoing Afghan Ambassador Atif Mashal in Islamabad, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood said Pakistan is committed to enhance bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the outgoing Afghan ambassador in a tweet said that during the farewell meeting, he expressed gratitude to Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood for a strong support and active cooperation extended to him during his diplomatic mission in Islamabad. He said they deliberated on the latest developments in Afghan peace process and the need for further strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries. Earlier, in his interaction with Ambassador David Hale, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the US State Department, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood has said that India’s continuing military siege in IIOJK and its aggressive posturing against Pakistan posed a threat to peace and security. During the conversation, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood highlighted India’s illegal and unilateral action of 5 August 2019 and its aftermath, focusing in particular on massive human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, and intensified ceasefire violations along the LoC. He underlined that it was imperative to take steps to prevent escalation of tensions and to facilitate peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington Asad Majeed Khan and U.S. Charge’d Affairs in Islamabad, Ambassador Paul Jones along with senior officials from both sides also attended the virtual consultations. The two sides also exchanged views on peace and stability in South Asia. The two sides also reviewed Pakistan-US bilateral relationship, its present trajectory, and future direction.
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