Pakistan, Afghanistan need to work in tandem for peace: PM Sharif

KABUL: (MEP) – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace in the region, Pakistan news reported.

Talking to Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Murree, Nawaz said Afghanistan was a brotherly country and “we have common challenges and huge opportunities before us”. He said, “Our security and future prosperity is linked to that of Afghanistan, in multiple ways.”

He stressed that Pakistan attaches importance to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He said that the region had witnessed conflict and instability for decades now and it was high time to realize common positive agenda of peace and development.

Later, the prime minister hosted a lunch for Karzai, wherein the Afghan delegation also participated. The two leaders also held one-to-one meeting in Islamabad to discuss the bilateral issues. Both the leaders discussed the security situation of the region. Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi were also present on the occasion.

APP, NNI add: Karzai has wrapped up his extended visit to Pakistan, which focused on Islamabad’s role in talks with the Taliban and release of Taliban prisoners.

He was scheduled to conclude his day-long visit on Monday evening but the visit was extended on the request of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to hold more meetings. According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the talks were marked by cordiality and mutual understanding. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and broaden Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. They agreed to continue to work together for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

To this end, the two sides also agreed to maintain and enhance mutual engagement on issues of regional peace and stability. Karzai reiterated his invitation to Nawaz to visit Afghanistan. The prime minister accepted the invitation. The dates would be determined through diplomatic channels.

Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said that Karzai had called for Pakistan’s role in talks with the Taliban. He also said the Afghan side had demanded the release of all Taliban detainees in Pakistan. Karzai and his delegation comprising cabinet members and senior officials were seen off at the Noor Khan Airbase by Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

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