Pakistan FM requests Afghan govt to ensure security for its Consulate General in Jalalabad

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday requested the Afghan government for restoring the previous security arrangements existing till August 28, 2018, so that the Consulate General’s normal functioning in Jalalabad could be resumed at the earliest.

Last week, Pakistan temporarily closed its Consulate in the eastern Afghan City of Jalalabad over alleged interference by the Provincial Governor Hayatullah Hayat and a lack of security.

Qureshi discussed the issue of closure of the Pakistan Consulate General in Jalalabad when the Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani called him today.

The Afghan foreign minister reassured a positive outcome soon in this regard and mentioned his meeting with the ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul yesterday. Till resolution of the issue, Pakistan in the meantime would continue issuing visas to patients or students residing in the jurisdiction of the Consulate’s as an emergency measure.

Expressing the greetings and best wishes of the government and the people of Afghanistan for Pakistan, Rabbani said that he looked forward to strengthen Pak-Afghan bilateral relations.

While thanking his Afghan Counterpart, Qureshi reiterated that as close neighbors, peace and prosperity of the two Countries are interlinked while highlighting the need to work together for achieving lasting regional peace.

Both sides appreciated recent improvement in relations since the launch of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) process in May 2018.

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It was noted that the framework provided the most comprehensive institutional mechanism to discuss all mutual issues.

The two leaders agreed that the next round of APAPPS would be soon held in Islamabad. They also welcomed the holding of joint Pak-Afghan Ulema Conference in Islamabad, the dates for which are being finalised.

Salahuddin Rabbani also extended an invitation to Shah Mahmood Qureshi to visit Afghanistan at an early date, which he accepted.