ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday said that the mediation offer by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was a good omen for the regional peace.

Speaking to journalists here, after the concluding ceremony of two-day International Refugee Summit marking 40 years of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan welcomed such offers by international leaders.

“Pakistan welcomes UN Secretary General’s mediation offer (to use his good offices) to resolve the outstanding issues between Pakistan and India. Pakistan wants peace,” the FM said.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said Indian reaction to the UN Secretary General’s offer showed India was avoiding resolution of the outstanding issues. He reiterated that Kashmir was an international issue and India cannot enforce its illegal unilateral decisions there.

Earlier, addressing the concluding session of the Afghan refugees’ conference, Foreign Minister Qureshi said the participants of the event applauded the unparalleled solidarity and hospitality of Pakistan and Iran and commended their inclusive policies towards Afghan refugees. He said the whole world acknowledged Pak hospitality for Afghan refugees - spread over decades.

Qureshi said the conference recognized and highly appreciated Pakistan’s generosity and progressive policies that have enabled millions of Afghan refugees and nationals to access refuge, health, education, livelihood and social mobility without any discrimination.

He said the participants stressed that the ultimate solution lied in Afghanistan and that voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration is the preferred solution for the majority of Afghan refugees.

The FM said the participants also highlighted that to enable sustainable return and reintegration, a pre-requisite would be a comprehensive Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process and urgent investment in the priority areas of return.

The conference, he said, acknowledged that the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity could yield peace dividends for the entire region, provided that there is a firm political will to implement it.

The conference was attended by more than 500 participants, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Second Vice President of Afghanistan Sarwar Danesh, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Ministers and other high-ranking representatives of the government.