‘No military solution to Afghan conflict’

PESHAWAR: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday vowed to work together on regional security and other key issues.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was on a daylong visit to Kabul, met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and discussed reconciliation process, counter-terrorism, return of Afghan refugees, trade and regional connectivity.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua.

According to the statement, Prime Minister Abbasi welcomed President Ghani’s vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to Taliban. Both the leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward.

The statement said the two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat. They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other.

Prime Minister Abbasi and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah also led their respective delegations during delegation-level talks.

Both the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to regional connectivity and to hold an early meeting of the Joint Economic Commission to take forward planning and implementation of key rail, road, gas pipeline and energy projects that would integrate Pakistan and Afghanistan with Central Asia.

“The two leaders also agreed to move forward on Chaman-Kandahar-Herat railway line, Peshawar-Kabul Motorway, and other connectivity projects which can help realise the tremendous potential of South and Central Asian Regions by providing shortest access through the sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi. They emphasised early completion of TAPI and CASA-1000 projects,” said the statement.

On the occasion, the PM announced a gift of 40,000 tons wheat for the Afghan people.




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