Pakistan Russia to inch closer further

Pakistan Russia to inch closer further

*ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday Prime Minister Imran Khan will soon hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.*

Speaking to the media here, he said reports about a bilateral meeting between the prime minister and Russian president on the sidelines of the recently concluded Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China are incorrect.

He said no meeting was scheduled between PM Khan and President Putin.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will soon meet Russia’s president,” the foreign minister said and refused to disclose the date of their meeting. “I won’t tell the date. Whenever the meeting will take place, it will come to light.”

Addressing the Track II dialogue organised by the Regional Peace Institute earlier today, the foreign minister said peace in Afghanistan holds a key position in Pakistan’s foreign policy.

He said Pakistan backs and facilitates the Afghan reconciliation process, adding the country earnestly assisted in bringing the US and Taliban to dialogue table to bring an end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Lauding the Track II initiative, FM Qureshi said it affords the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan an opportunity to come to closer to resolve their differences.

Stressing the need for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned dialogue process, he said it is the only Afghan people who can bring peace to their country. “Afghan people will have to decide their future themselves.”

The foreign minister said he had toured the war-ravaged country four times since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government came to power last year in August, which shows the incumbent government’s seriousness to find a solution to the Afghan imbroglio.

He emphasised the need for the Track II dialogue between the two neighbouring countries to improve bilateral ties between them.

“Better ties with Afghanistan are the government’s priority,” he said. “Pakistan and Afghanistan have shared future.”