Diplomatic: (Pakistan, Britain agree to foment ties in all areas of common interest)

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan and Britain have agreed to continue work together to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest.

According to an official report, the understanding was reached during a video teleconference between Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and British Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmad.

Views were exchanged on matters relating to bilateral cooperation, regional situation, and multilateral issues including climate change and Commonwealth. The two sides discussed ways to further advance the mutual cooperation.

Bilaterally, the importance of frequent high-level exchanges, a closer trade and economic partnership, and stronger role of the diaspora in forging a robust bilateral relationship was emphasized.

In the regional context, the Foreign Secretary reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast support for the Afghan peace process and underlining the need for the earliest commencement of Intra-Afghan negotiations.

He also underscored the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

The Foreign Secretary also highlighted the grave situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, marked by egregious violations of human rights, illegal measures to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, and threat to peace and security posed by intensified ceasefire violations and India’s belligerent actions.

He underlined the need for the international community to play its part in diffusion of tensions and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

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