Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will leave for a four-nation tour today (Monday) as part of the government’s policy of outreaching to the neighbouring countries. The foreign minister will begin the journey by visiting Iran, which would be his first visit since assuming the office in August this year. In Tehran, the minister will meet his counterpart Javad Zarif, besides meeting President Hasan Rouhani. Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Faisal told Daily Times that the foreign minister, who is being accompanied by foreign secretary and senior officials, will visit Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia from December 24-26, 2018. It would be foreign minister’s third visit to Afghanistan within four months and second within last two weeks. During the visit, the spokesman said that the foreign minister will discuss Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the senior leadership of these countries to strengthen cooperation in various areas. “Implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is eager to strengthen its ties with neighbours and regional partners,” the spokesman said. Besides a detailed exchange of views on important areas of bilateral cooperation, views will also be exchanged on the fast changing regional and international environment during the foreign minister’s talks with leaders of neighbouring countries, diplomatic sources said. Recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan would also be discussed. The spokesman said Pakistan had always maintained that the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. “International community’s recent consensus to adopt this as the guiding principle to resolve the 40-years old Afghan conflict, vindicates Pakistan’s long held view”, he commented. Meanwhile, the foreign minister said war is no option for solution to Kashmir dispute. However, he said Pakistan would continue apprising friendly countries and world bodies of Indian atrocities in Indian-held Kashmir. Published in Daily Times, December 24th 2018.