Trade with Afghanistan increased by 25 percent: NA told, july 17, 2020

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Trade with Afghanistan increased by 25 percent: NA told, july 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD-:Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas Friday informed the National Assembly that despite COVID-19, trade with Afghanistan had increased by 25 percent. 

Responding to questions during question hour she said, “We have open border with Afghanistan and trade with our neighbour increased by 25  percent despite the threat of COVID-19." 

She said that Pakistani exports had increased due to the policies of the government.

She said that improving bilateral ties with South Asian countries remained a priority of the government's foreign policy.

She said despite hostile Indian attitude, Pakistan took a milestone step by deciding to open the Kartarpur corridor and released captured Indian pilot after Indian misadventure of Balakot, as a peace gesture.

Pakistan wanted to resolve all outstanding issues with India including Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, she added.

She, however, said that India must create an enabling environment for a result-oriented dialogue to take place.

The Parliamentary Secretary said India wanted to isolate Pakistan at the international level. But Pakistan significantly improved its relations with neighboring countries including Iran and Afghanistan in the last two years, she added.

She said today the situation was that India was facing isolation due to various reasons. She said India was the biggest aggressor in the South Asian region.

“Pakistan is pursuing the policy of good relations with all the countries in the region,  while upholding the principles of the UN Charter, ” she added.

The salient features of Pakistan’s foreign policy, she said, included active political interactions, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-

interference in the internal affairs, non-aggression, peaceful settlement

of disputes, safeguarding of national security , geo-strategic interests,

including Kashmir, consolidating economic cooperation, effective

cooperation with South Asian countries at regional and international fora.

The illegal and unilateral Indian actions of August,5 2019,

attempted to change the demographic structure of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in stark violation

of international law, the relevant UNSC resolutions and the serious

violation of human rights and humanitarian crisis in Occupied Kashmir had vitiated the environment, she added.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that India had also escalated tensions at the Line of Control and working boundary in an attempt to divert international attention from the Indian state-terrorism and egregious violations of human rights in Occupied Kashmir.

She said that Pakistan continued to sensitize the world community including the United Nations about the threat to peace and security posed by India’s

belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions on the ground, including

intensified ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.

“We also continue to expose Indian atrocities at all levels, including the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).Through continuing restrictions, excruciating military crackdown, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions and incarcerations, India seeks to perpetuate its illegal occupation of IOJ&K, ” she added.

The secretary said, “We have also continuously sensitized the international community about the risks of an Indian false-flag operation to divert attention from domestic criticism of the Indian government. Pakistan does not want escalation but any Indian aggression or misadventure will be responded to effectively and with full national resolve.”

Andleeb Abbas said Pakistan believed that the economic potential of the region could not be realized without a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Pakistan, she said, was firmly committed to a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours.  Pakistan had supported and facilitated direct talks between the United States and Taliban, which culminated in the peace agreement signed in Doha on 29 February, 2020.

She said that the international community had appreciated Pakistan’s constructive role in the Afghan  peace process. Pakistan had always maintained that the only solution of the Afghan conflict was a politically negotiated settlement, which was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.