Pakistan has called for making serious efforts for negotiated settlement between Afghan government and Taliban for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan, reported Radio Pakistan

This was stated by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua while speaking at a meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan in Moscow.

She also emphasized the importance of early return of Afghan refugees and combating drug production and trafficking which continued to affect stability of Afghanistan and the region.

The Foreign Secretary underlined the challenges faced by Afghanistan including deteriorating security situation marked by increasing ungoverned spaces being used to provide sanctuary to the terrorist groups.

The member countries unanimously supported measures for strengthening interaction between Afghanistan and the SCO countries.

They welcomed Chinese proposal for hosting the next meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan in Beijing early next year.