Pakistani FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves for important four nation tour

Pakistani FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves for important four nation tour

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he will leave on an official tour to the neighbouring countries (Tuesday) to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

Talking to the media, Qureshi said that he will visit Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran to get the stance of Afghanistan's immediate neighbours on common issues like refugees, trade, and challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that all possible assistance is being provided for the safe evacuation of foreign nationals, diplomats, media persons, and members of International Non-Governmental Organizations from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

He said so far 542 foreign nationals and 91 Pakistani citizens have been evacuated through five PIA flights, adding that 56 permissions were granted to international airlines for overflights.

He said Pakistan is facilitating the movement of evacuees as a facilitation center has been set up at Islamabad Airport; besides, establishing a crisis cell at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign minister revealed that on arrival visas are being issued to foreign nationals, coming from Afghanistan. He said that the situation in Kabul is calm but there is pressure around the airport as people are scrambling to leave the country.

He said that the international community has appreciated Pakistan's role for peace in Afghanistan and safe evacuation of foreign nationals from there.

He said Pakistan has also assured Saudi Arabia for all possible assistance and facilitation in the relocation of its embassy from Kabul to Islamabad for the time being, state broadcaster reported.

Responding to a question, Qureshi said that India is playing a role of spoiler to deteriorate situation in Afghanistan.