Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi met the Ambassador of Iraq, Dr. Ali Yassin Mohammed Karim to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, and raised with him the issues faced by Pakistani Zaireen in obtaining Iraqi visas for Arbaeen. While appreciating the Iraqi government’s efforts in facilitating rising number of Zaireen from Pakistan, he expressed concern over the reports of a large number of Pakistanis still waiting for issuance of Iraqi visas while Arbaeen is only ten days away.
Highlighting the inconvenience and disappointment faced by Ziareen, the Foreign Minister drew attention of the Ambassador to the fact that many of them travel by road and will not be able to perform ziarat this year due to inordinate delay.
The Foreign Minister flagged the need for urgent streamlining of the visa procedures and placing them on the Embassy’s website alongwith the list of authorized travel agents, for the convenience of visa applicants. He assured the Iraqi Ambassador of the full support and cooperation of the government of Pakistan in ensuring that all Zaireen retrun to Pakistan after performing Ziarat.
H.E Dr. Ali Yassin Mohammed Karim assured the Foreign Minister of maximum cooperation and support of Embassy of Iraq in processing of all visa requests well within time and in a transparent manner. He also said that the backlog of visa applications for Arbaeen will be cleared within next few days, however, the applicants may ensure submission of complete applications.
It was also decided that a meeting of twelve registered tourist companies will be convened today at 1600 hrs in Iraqi Embassy in the presence of Additional Secretary (Middle East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to identify, discuss and resolve the visa problems of the zaireen.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Ambassador Carlos Morales of Spain for a farewell call at the Foreign Office today.
The Foreign Minister appreciated the Ambassador’s efforts in promoting Pakistan-Spain bilateral relations during his tenure in Pakistan. He emphasized on the need to augment trade and economic ties and greater people to people contacts between the two countries.
The Spanish Ambassador reciprocated his government’s desire to further enhance cooperation between the two countries in all areas of mutual interest. He, in particular, emphasized on greater cooperation in the field of tourism.
The Foreign Minister wished the Ambassador success in his future assignment.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called his Afghan counterpart Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani today to express his condolences on the sad demise of senior Afghan leaders and officials,including the Governor, Police Chief and Intelligence Head of Kandhar, in a terrorist attack in Kandhar yesterday. FM Qureshi also offered prayers for the maghfirah of the deceased and his thoughts and condolences for the victims’ families, adding that Pakistan continues to stand with its Afghan brothers and sisters, sharing their pain and grief.
Mr. Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan condemns terrorism. We would continue to work with Afghanistan for achieving long term peace and stability in the region, for which ending the conflict in Afghanistan was an essential step.Peace and economic development in Pakistan was linked with restoration of complete peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister expressed the hope that parliamentary elections would be held in a peaceful environment throughout Afghanistan, on 20 October 2018. These elections are an important landmark for strengthening of democracy in the country, which remains the key to achieve sustainable peace and progress in Afghanistan.He also reassured Mr. Rabbani about Pakistan’s complete support for Afghan democratic process.
Thanking the Foreign Minister for his support, FM Rabbani briefed Mr. Qureshi about the difficulties being faced by the Afghan government in holding the upcoming elections in Afghanistan in a successful manner. He reiterated Afghan government’s strong resolve to overcome all difficulties in this regard. Mr. Rabbani also expressed the hope that both countries would continue to work together in pursuing peace and an end to the decades old conflict in Afghanistan.
Press Statement on Indian Purchase of S-400 Missile.
The Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System through multiple sources. This will further destabilize strategic stability in South Asia, besides leading to a renewed arms race. Following the May 1998 nuclear tests by both sides, Pakistan had proposed a Strategic Restraint Regime in the region, advocating against the acquisition of BMD systems due to their destabilizing effect.
Indian rejection of this proposal forced Pakistan to develop capabilities which render any BMD system ineffective and unreliable. Pakistan remains fully confident of its ability to address threats from any kind of destabilizing weapon system.
We reiterate our commitment towards ensuring national defence in line with the policy of maintaining credible minimum deterrence and maintaining strategic balance in the region in the future as well.