Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity. The understanding came during delegation level talks between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Friday.
Prime Minister discussed a variety of issues such as counter-terror cooperation, the regional situation in South Asia, repatriation of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and bilateral trade and power projects among others with the Afghan President. Pakistani Prime Minister went to Afghanistan on a one day visit on Ghani’s invitation; Abbasi thanked the Afghan president for the warm hospitality and extended an invitation to him to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and National Security Advisor (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua.
Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also discussed a range of issues, including peace and security, anti-terror efforts, violations along the Durand Line and trade relations between the two countries. During their meeting, Abdullah said terrorism is a threat to security as well as economic and trade opportunities. He reiterated that strong and honest counterterrorism efforts are required to overcome challenges in this respect.
Abdullah rightly said that Afghanistan and Pakistan’s religious scholars should send a joint fatwa against war and violence. It was also decided in the meeting that both countries should facilitate trade and transit issues between the two countries. It was decided in the meeting that Islamabad will ease transport and exports of Afghanistan’s goods to Pakistan and Afghan officials will do the same.
In recent past both countries were blaming each other for not doing enough efforts to eliminate terrorist outfits. Sanity has prevailed and it is good omen that leaders of both countries are looking forward to meet regularly in order to strengthen bilateral relations and eliminate misunderstandings. Last week, a high-level Pakistani delegation, headed by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua visited Afghanistan to hold talks with Afghan authorities on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), in an effort to improve the relations between the two countries.
Pakistan has reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is directly linked with peace in Pakistan and country is ready to provide the ground for Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace talks. Both countries were the victim of terrorism and best way to eliminate menace of terrorism is to work side by side by sharing intelligence.