ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that Pakistan was committed to peace in Afghanistan.

He said in the responsibility to create a conducive environment for the dialogue to move forward rested with the Afghan leadership.

In a statement, he said that the peace deal signed in Doha was a first major step and the next step is the intra-Afghan dialogue. He added: “This opportunity should not be missed and both the sides should move forward and demonstrate flexibility.”

Qureshi was in Qatar’s capital Doha on a three-day visit last week to attend the historic signing ceremony of a peace agreement between the US and Afghan Taliban. 

He said that it is the test case of the Afghan leadership as well as all the other groups whether they move forward or resort to the same intransigence.

Qureshi said that Pakistan desired peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan played its role which was also appreciated by the world community.

The Foreign Minister said swap of prisoners was part of the deal signed by the Taliban and the United States. He said the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani should seek details of the agreement from Washington.

The FM said that according to his information, the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad kept the Afghan leadership informed about the dialogue with the Taliban.

He stressed that goodwill gestures were important when somebody moves from the war to peace.  He said the release of prisoners will not be unilateral but bilateral.

Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed for further confidence building measures including prisoners swap after signing of the peace agreement to help improve the situation in Afghanistan.