Pakistan FM in Turkey to attend conference on Afghanistan

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (L) gives a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on August 16, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan FM in Turkey to attend conference on Afghanistan

  • Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was established to address shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and regional partners  
  • Qureshi to apprise participants of Pakistan's efforts for regional stability, Afghan peace

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Istanbul on Monday to attend the 8th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process conference.

“Foreign Minister will inform (the forum) about the Afghan peace process and the steps taken by Pakistan for stability in the region,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.

Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Afghan counterpart, Idrees Zaman, will co-chair the conference.

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.

It provides a platform for “sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region,” the Afghan government said in a statement.

On Dec. 7, the Taliban and the United States restarted formal peace negotiations after a nearly three-month pause.

In September, US President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban in reaction to the deaths of 12 people, including a US soldier in a Taliban attack in Kabul.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office welcomed the resumption of the US-Taliban talks. “We hope that it will lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and ultimately to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” FO said in a statement, highlighting that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

“An inclusive peace and reconciliation process, involving all segments of the Afghan society, is the only practical way forward,” the statement reads.
 


Pakistani remittances could fall by 27% as coronavirus jolts money flow to millions

Updated 7 min 46 sec ago

Pakistani remittances could fall by 27% as coronavirus jolts money flow to millions

  • India, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam were six of the ten largest remittance recipients globally in 2019
  • Asian Development Bank says coronavirus pandemic will hit remittances hard in Asia, Pakistan could be one of the worst affected economies

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said in a new report that the coronavirus pandemic will hit remittances hard in Asia and the Pacific, and Pakistan could be one of the worst affected economies.
In 2019, six of the ten largest remittance recipients globally were from India, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
“The results show that the COVID-19 impact on remittances ranges from a 5.2% decline from baseline remittances in 2018 for the least affected economy to almost a 30% decline for the most-affected,” the ADB report, entitled ‘COVID-19 Impact on International Migration, Remittances, and Recipient Households in Developing Asia’, said.
“Among developing Asian economies: the five worst affected are Nepal, where remittances could fall by 28.7%; Tajikistan (27.9%), Bangladesh (27.8%), Pakistan (26.8%), and the Kyrgyz Republic (25.2%).”
Strict curfews, lockdowns and travel bans enforced around the world to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak have decimated jobs and slashed remittances from migrants, cutting off a lifeline for millions.
But Pakistan central bank data shows remittances rose by 50.7% during June 2020 to reach a record high of $2,466.2 million compared with $1,636.4 million in June 2019. In fiscal year 2020, the bank said, remittances increased to a historic high of $23.12 billion, 6.4% more than last year.
“Inflow of workers’ remittances registered an increase of 7.8% during March-June 2020 pandemic period compared with the corresponding period of 2019,” the central bank said last month.