ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (INP) Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to jointly fight the menace of terrorism and build a robust economic cooperation.The understanding came at a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani here Saturday.
The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations with focus on expanding cooperation in the areas of security, trade, investment, energy and building infrastructure. In a joint press stake out after their talks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said both Pakistan and Afghanistan recognize the historic opportunity for building a strong relationship based on mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He pointed out that the two countries face formidable challenges including terrorism, precarious security environment and transnational crimes. We can only effectively meet them collectively to exploit the full potential of the peoples of two countries.
“I have vision of a strong, comprehensive and enduring partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan – contributing to the security and prosperity of our two nations, and reinforcing efforts for peace and development in the region. I am gratified that President Ghani has a similar vision” Nawaz Sharif said.
He said our fraternal relations are fortified by common faith, and shared interests. We have common goals and common joys. We grieve and rejoice together. Our security and future prosperity remains interlinked.
Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed that peaceful, prosperous and united Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital interest. He also reaffirmed support for intra Afghan reconciliation process saying this should be fully Afghan led and Afghan owned. The Prime Minister said Pakistan is committed to upgrade cooperation in border security, defense, Afghan reconstruction, capacity building, parliamentary exchanges and cultural links. The two sides agreed that connectivity and regional economic cooperation are indispensable elements of their engagement. Nawaz Sharif said we have envisioned trade, energy and communications corridor through trans-regional initiatives like CASA 1000 and TAPI gas pipeline project.
He assured that Islamabad will stand by Kabul and support their endeavors for peace, stability and prosperity.
The Prime Minister reiterated his warm felicitation to the Afghan president and the people on the peaceful transfer of power and formation of national unity government. This, he said, shows the statesmanship of new afghan leadership for further strengthening of afghan unity.
“Our two countries face formidable challenges – including extremism and terrorism, a precarious security environment, and trans-national crimes. I am convinced that we can effectively meet them, through common resolve and common endeavors” he added.
Nawaz Sharif underlined Pakistan’s commitment to comprehensively upgrade cooperation in all fields – including border security and defence, Afghanistan’s reconstruction and rehabilitation, capacity building, parliamentary exchanges, and cultural, educational and sports links.
In his remarks, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said partnership with Pakistan is important pillar of Afghan’s foreign policy. He said both the countries today have taken fundamental steps to ensure regional connectivity through various projects including gas and power.
About his meeting with the Prime Minister, he said we have discussed to overcome the past. We will not permit the past to destroy our future. Therefore, he said we have begun a comprehensive dialogue on security so that all dimensions of our mutual security can be discussed and concrete actions taken to overcome them.
Ashraf Ghani said we have taken enormous steps in the last three days to achieve progress on the economy and we have overcome obstacles of thirteen years in three days.
On arrival at the PM House, President Ashraf Ghani Saturday received a warm welcome in a formal ceremony.
The Prime Minister received the visiting dignitary on his arrival. On the occasion the national anthems of both the countries were played. The smartly turned out contingent of armed forces presented guard of honour to the foreign dignitary.
Afghan President inspected the guard of honour before the introduction by him and the Prime Minister of each other’s delegations.
The Finance Ministers of the two countries signed documents for promotion of cooperation in diverse fields.