Pakistan seeks US help to defuse tensions with India

Pak seeks US help to defuse tensions with India

Islamabad:  Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asked the United States to play its due role in resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India.

The demand was made during a telephonic conversation between Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday.

Tensions between India and Pakistan had been running high following Feb 14 militant attack in Pulwama in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred in a suicide attack claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group.

The foreign minister briefed Pompeo on the de-escalatory measures taken by Pakistan, including the handing over of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. Both the leaders exchanged views on the current situation in the region, as well as discussed bilateral issues.

Qureshi said bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US carried special significance for peace and stability in the region. The US role for de-escalation in the region was laudable, he added.

The continuing Afghan peace process was also discussed during the telephonic conversation. The two leaders agreed to continue cooperation on the matter. “They discussed Pakistan’s facilitating role and agreed that the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s forthcoming visit to Islamabad would provide an opportunity to further build on the gains made so far,” the statement said.

Separately, Qureshi said Kartarpur Corridor would be inaugurated this year on the birthday of Baba Guru Nanak “Opening of Kartarpur Corridor will not only help improving relations with India but also provide the Sikh community an opportunity of spiritual tourism”, he said while addressing a conference in Islamabad.

Radio Pakistan reported that Pakistani missions abroad will issue multiple visas of five year duration adding that the new aviation policy will promote tourism to northern areas.

Pakistan foreign office is making concerted efforts to remove foreign advisories. As a result, Portugal has removed the travel advisory for Pakistan while Canada has softened it.

The Foreign Minister said in order to promote tourism successfully, federal, provincial and local governments will have to work in tandem with hospitality, service, transport sectors.

He concluded by saying that National Tourism Coordination Board has been set up bringing together various stakeholders for promotion of tourism and art in the country.


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