ISLAMABAD: Richard Olson, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, called on Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in Islamabad.
According to a press release issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, they discussed the regional security situation and efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The foreign secretary underlined Pakistan’s focus on effective border management on Afghanistan-Pakistan border with a view to enhancing security and counter-terrorism efforts. In this regard, he apprised the US side regarding the creation of a high-level consultation mechanism between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address border management and related security issues.
Emphasizing the early repatriation of Afghan refugees, the Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan wanted the return of refugees to take place with dignity and honour. Pakistan and Afghanistan should address this important matter through dialogue and consultations. The international community including the US and UNHCR should lend their support to these efforts.
On Afghan reconciliation, Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) as an effective forum to facilitate Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
Ambassador Olson appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. He stated that the US supported Pakistan’s efforts on border management. He recognized that Pakistan’s role in hosting Afghan refugees for more than thirty five years should not be forgotten by the international community. In this regard, he underlined the need for creating pull factors for sustainable repatriation of Afghan refugees.
Ambassador Richard Olson expressed appreciation for continued close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States on issues of mutual interest. He mentioned that Pakistan’s successes in counter-terrorism operations and stabilization of the economy were remarkable. He also congratulated Pakistan for significant reduction in polio cases. Both sides agreed on continued constructive engagement between Pakistan and the United States in the areas of trade, investment, education, health and energy.