ISLAMABAD - Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood yesterday said peace and development were the central pillars of Pakistan’s foreign policy framework.

He was speaking to a group of 19 diplomats from 14 countries who called on him here. The group is attending the 27th Junior Diplomatic Course at the Foreign Service Academy. The course participants are from Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine and Tunisia.

Welcoming the diplomats, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood particularly highlighted Pakistan’s initiatives for peaceful resolution of disputes in various parts of the world and the renewed focus on economic diplomacy for the facilitation of core national economic development goals.

While sharing Pakistan’s vision of peaceful negihbourhood, he said that resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute remained the key to durable peace and stability in South Asia. He also highlighted Pakistan’s contribution to international peace and security including through participation in the UN peacekeeping Missions, particularly in Africa.

The Foreign Secretary added that the diplomatic training programme was aimed at further deepening Pakistan’s relations with the developing world.

He added that the participants, during their visits to different parts of Pakistan, would have witnesased warm and hospitable nature of the Pakistani people, the open and pluralistic society of Pakistan, and socio-economic development achieved by country.

He urged them to contribute to the development of stronger bilateral relations between Pakistan and their respective countries.

The Foreign Service Academy, since its establishment in September 1981, has been imparting training to foreign diplomats from the friendly countries. The Academy has so far trained 1389 diplomats from 107 Countries.