ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday urged the world to overcome the Islamophobia and promote the interfaith harmony.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held telephonic talks with German and Finland counterparts - Heiko Maas and Pekka Haavisto - to discuss the issue. He also telephoned Saudi Arabian Minister for Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha.

FM Qureshi called for global measures including interfaith harmony to overcome the challenge of Islamophobia.

In his conversation with German counterpart Heiko Maas, the FM said Muslims around the world, including Pakistan, were deeply concerned about the growing trend of Islamophobia.

Talking about the Afghan peace process, he said Pakistan continues its sincere efforts in this regard. He said the Afghan leadership had a unique opportunity in the form of intra-Afghan talks and the success of these talks is essential for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Qureshi said that Pakistan had always supported Afghan-led comprehensive dialogue acceptable to Afghans.

He added: “We also need to keep an eye on the elements who want to destabilize the region.”

The foreign minister also apprised his German counterpart of the continuing and serious human rights violations by India in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that in defiance of international law, India wanted to change the demography of the Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He urged the international community to play its role to liberate unarmed Kashmiris from Indian oppression.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also extended condolence to his German counterpart over the loss of lives in Germany due to the corona pandemic. They agreed to continue consultations on the promotion of bilateral trade, economic cooperation and ongoing efforts for peace in the region. Separately, in his telephonic conversation with Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto, Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan was making reconciliatory efforts with utmost sincerity for peace and stability in the region, including the Afghan Peace Process. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had been saying from day one that dialogue among the Afghan leadership, acceptable to the people of Afghanistan, is the only solution to the Afghan problem.

He said intra-Afghan dialogue taking place in Doha was a good omen for peace in Afghanistan and the Afghan leadership should take advantage of this opportunity in taking these negotiations to their logical conclusion.

Qureshi apprised the foreign minister of Finland about the visit of Afghan leaders Abdullah Abdullah, Gulbadin Hikmatyar, and Afghan Velosi Jirga to Pakistan and the positive discussions held during these visits. 

The Foreign Minister declared the upcoming conference, being held in Geneva at the end of this month with the cooperation of Finland, the United Nations, and Afghanistan, as vital for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, FM Qureshi telephoned Saudi Minister for Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha. The two sides agreed to undertake joint efforts for promotion of cooperation in the field of information technology.