Islamabad, 17 March 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg.

He received the Austrian minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held wide-ranging delegation-level discussions. Minister Schallenberg is on an official visit to Pakistan. He will be staying in Pakistan till 19 March 2022, at the invitation of the Foreign Minister.

The entourage of the Austrian Foreign Minister includes the Austrian business delegates. During the meeting, the two sides reevaluated Pakistan-Austria’s bilateral collaboration in diverse sectors.

These include trade and investment, renewable energy, higher education, tourism, science & technology. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan hoped that the two sides could cooperate to increase high-level interactions as well as parliamentary interchanges.

He appreciated the Austrian government’s support for the Pakistan-Austria Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in Haripur. Moreover, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the two partners needed to launch more such schemes in Pakistan.

He further enunciated that, the Austrian companies were acquainted with Pakistan and could act as a benchmark for other enterprises to exploit Pakistan’s business-friendly environment.

Aside from bilateral ties, the two counterparts also exchanged views on the regional situation including IIOJK, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. Shah Mehmood Qureshi presented Pakistan’s standpoint on Afghanistan accentuating that the most urgent problems in Afghanistan were economic & humanitarian crises, which ought to be handled urgently.

He added that Pakistan advised the global community for productive engagement to guarantee continuous headway towards the shared objectives of a peaceful, stable, and successful Afghanistan.

The Foreign Minister stated that the crisis in Ukraine stayed unsettling as the war does not benefit anyone. He highlighted Pakistan’s perspective on Ukraine and emphasized termination of aggressiveness, sustained dialogue, and alacritous tactfulness for a diplomatic resolution.

Pakistan has remained resolute to the basic precepts of the UN Charter i.e. non-use or threat of use of force, self-determination of peoples, pacific settlement of disputes, and sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

Foreign Minister Qureshi hoped that the dialogues between Russia and Ukraine yields a favorable result. He stated that Pakistan is extremely grateful to adjacent European countries for the support extended in the evacuation of Pakistani nationals from Ukraine.

He informed his Austrian counterpart that the government of Pakistan has sent relief assistance to the people of Ukraine as a gesture of solidarity to mitigate their suffering in these difficult times.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Qureshi also briefed Foreign Minister Schallenberg about grave human rights violations in IIOJK which demand the attention of the global community to hold India responsible for the human rights crimes being perpetrated in the occupied territory.

He further enlightened the Austrian Foreign Minister about the so-called “accidental” firing of a missile from India into Pakistani territory. The explanation provided by India was unconvincing and raised several questions.

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan hoped that the global community would take grave notice of this incident in a nuclearized environment and play its due role in upholding strategic equilibrium in the region. The two counterparts acquiesced to maintain contact.