MOSCOW (Agencies) - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said Pakistan was making determined efforts to stabilise the situation along its border with Afghanistan. "Pakistan has a central role in facilitating the stabilisation process in Afghanistan, and we remain deeply committed to this goal," he said while addressing at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Special Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Moscow. The Foreign Minister said for Pakistan there was no greater priority than having a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan. "We are convinced that security, today, is indivisible and a secure Afghanistan - at peace with itself and with its neighbours - would have a discernible effect on our security and the regional environment," he said. He said the resolve of the Pakistani nation and leadership to fight militancy and terrorism was unflinching. The Foreign Minister said the democratic government had worked assiduously to bring about a qualitative transformation in its relations with Afghanistan with a new level of mutual trust. He said Pakistan would continue to lend all possible assistance for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and would shortly be hosting the third Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) in Islamabad. Qureshi said Afghanistan is Pakistan's close friend and immediate neighbour and for decades Afghanistan suffered from the ravages of war and civil strife. He said the people of Afghanistan have been the victims of instability, violence, terrorism, factional fighting, illegal arms, narcotics production and trafficking, and organized crime. He said Pakistan had also suffered grievously along with Afghanistan. "Due to the spill over, our people have had to face phenomena which did not exist in our society before - the so-called 'Kalashnikov culture', drugs, militancy, and terrorism," he said. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan has been host to the world's largest refugee population, with all its attendant consequences. "The security forces and the people of Pakistan continue to render tremendous sacrifices in addressing these formidable challenges," he said. "We believe it is imperative to turn a new page in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan deserve better." He said the Afghan people deserved peace, security, stability and progress. "They deserve strong institutions, effective governance, meaningful reconstruction, and sustainable economic development," Qureshi said. The Foreign Minister said the imposing agenda could be implemented with wisdom, sagacity and commitment of the Afghan leadership to rebuild their country through united efforts and to ensure that Afghanistan takes its rightful place in the comity of nations. "This is possible also with sustained and long-term engagement of the international community with Afghanistan. This is possible with a comprehensive approach that simultaneously addresses the security, political, economic, and reconstruction challenges," he said. He appreciated the international community's support in strengthening counter-terrorism capacity and advancing the development goals in the area. Qureshi said Pakistan attached great importance to its association with SCO, and had a strong commitment to the Organisation's principles and objectives and wish to deepen partnership with it. He said Pakistan would like to have optimal participation in SCO's frameworks for greater economic integration, including customs cooperation, energy development, transport facilitation, and investment promotion. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan wanted to be associated with SCO's Regional Counter-Terrorism Structures (RCTS) and it desired closer inter-regional links as President Asif Ali Zardari urged ECO-SCO cooperation at the ECO Summit in Tehran recently. He said the SCO has correctly identified terrorism, extremism, narcotics and trans-border organised crime as grave challenges confronting regional security. "Pakistan believes that SCO's normative framework based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual trust, equality, deference to diversity and a common aspiration for development offer the right perspective for durable stability in the greater SCO region," he said. Earlier, Russia on Friday opened an international meeting on fighting drug trafficking and unrest in Afghanistan, vowing it was prepared to cooperate with NATO to assist its operations in the country. The conference is being led by the Shanghai Group - a regional grouping that was aimed as an eastern counter balance to NATO and groups China, Russia and Central Asian states. But the meeting is also being attended by Shanghai Group observers, NATO officials, Afghanistan and representatives of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his opening address that Russia was prepared to expand its cooperation with the Western military alliance. It has already allowed the transit of non-lethal goods through its territory. Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, warned the security situation in Afghanistan was continuing to deteriorate. "It is particularly troubling that terrorists are practically controlling a number of areas in Afghanistan and have formed parallel power centres," he said. For its part, the United States has sent Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick Moon to the conference but there appeared little chance he could meet Iranian delegates there. "Such a meeting is not on the agenda," Iran's ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Lavrov said the main aim of the conference was to draw up a declaration with a concrete action plan for helping Afghanistan. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also attending. The meeting comes ahead of another international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague on March 31, due to be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top diplomats. Iran said on Thursday it would also attend the Hague conference, in a signal it is ready to help the new US administration restore stability to its eastern neighbour.