ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace and stability in the entire region. He was talking to Ambassador-designate for Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan in Islamabad. The FM said that Pakistan is facing several challenges at internal and external fronts. Shah Mehmood Qureshi while congratulating Mansoor Ahmad Khan over his nomination as an ambassador to the neighbouring country said that this would be helpful in further strengthening bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also discussed matters with particular reference to Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process. Last month, Pakistan participated in a virtual conference on Afghanistan, titled “Strengthening Consensus for Peace”, hosted by the Government of Afghanistan. President of Afghanistan Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Chairman High Peace Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah were also in attendance in the conference. Representatives of a number of countries and international organisations were also in attendance. Pakistan, in its statement, had emphasized the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for the overall prosperity and stability in the region and beyond. Pakistan also underlined its hope that the release of prisoners will be completed soon as per the peace agreement to pave way for the earliest commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiations.