Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday during which both leaders discussed bilateral relations, and developments in the region with a view to promoting peace, prosperity and stability. Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s steadfast commitment to supporting all efforts for an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement, the Foreign Office said. He stressed that the Afghan peace process should be pursued in all earnest. He noted the holding of “Loya Jirga”, or grand assembly, and expressed the hope that a conducive environment would be created for the earliest convening of the intra-Afghan negotiations. The Loya Jirga opened in Afghan capital Kabul on Friday to discuss the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners who the government says were involved in major crimes. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke at the opening session of the two-day Jirga, hoped the over 3,000 delegates will make a decision on the Taliban prisoners that will pave the way for the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue. On his part Pompeo said that he had a productive call with Qureshi about continued cooperation on Afghan peace and the importance of supporting regional stability. “I look forward to advancing our shared goals and increasing partnership,” Pompeo said in a twitter post. Pompeo discussed Afghan peace process with his Pakistani counterpart amid renewed efforts to start the intra-Afghan negotiations. The Foreign Minister apprised Secretary Pompeo of India’s continuing regressive policies in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) manifested with massive violations of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Qureshi thanked him for the US participation in the debate in the UN Security Council on 5 August 2020 on the completion of one year of India’s unilateral and illegal actions. He said that the Security Council’s deliberations, once again, reaffirmed the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir. He also said that the continued interest and commitment of the international community would help generate the necessary momentum towards resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the relevant UN Security Council security resolutions. The Foreign Office said that Qureshi stressed the importance of the Pakistan-US relationship and stated that the leadership of both countries was committed to further strengthen it. He added that Pakistan would be a partner for peace with the US. Exchanging notes on the COVID-19 pandemic, Qureshi thanked Secretary Pompeo for the US support and assistance, according to the statement. He also shared the encouraging results following the policy of ‘smart lockdown’ in Pakistan which helped the government in gradual opening of the economy. In Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assigned the jirga’s participants to make a decision about the release of 400 Taliban prisoners as Kabul’s refusal to free them has delayed the intra-Afghan dialogue. The talks between the Taliban and the government were scheduled to start on March 10 under the Taliban-US agreement signed in February, but Taliban refused to join the process until their 5,000 prisoners were freed.