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PM Imran, Dr Abdullah Abdullah discuss Afghan peace process

ISLAMABAD : Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan Dr Abdullah Abdullah held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Tuesday. During the meeting, matters pertaining to bilateral relations and regional situation came under discussion. Afghan peace process was also discussed in the meeting.  Earlier today, while addressing a conference at Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan said that Pakistan has played important role in Afghanistan peace process. He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy brotherly relations and that establishment of peace in the region is vital for both the countries. Pakistan and Afghanistan need to work together for better chances of development and economic growth. We have to learn from our benefits and damages, he went on to say. The leader said that Afghanistan believes in equal rights for everyone. Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan said the start of negotiations between Afghan government and the Taliban is an important opportunity and offer the best hope to put the war behind us. He said we have asked our negotiating team to be patient and be ready to make compromises. Abdullah Abdullah also thanked Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees saying we share the idea of their dignified return. On the other hand, Speaking at the conference, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that as Chairman of Afghanistan Reconciliation Council, Abdullah Abdullah has most challenging job of his career. I wish him well because in his success lies my success, he said. He urged the need of engagement, connections and exchanging of views honestly in a candid manner. I had an extensive meeting with Abdullah Abdullah yesterday with particular focus on peace in Afghanistan, he added.

The minister emphasized Pakistan respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. He categorically said Pakistan has no favorites in Afghanistan and it does not want to meddle in its internal affairs. As the intra Afghan dialogue are continuing, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan will accept the will of the people of Afghanistan. Pakistan believes that only the Afghan people can determine their future and it cannot be imposed on them. He said all sides will have to work together for a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan. He said the commencement of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban is a unique and historic opportunity for peace in Afghanistan. Reduction in violence leading to a ceasefire is a necessity for peace in the country, he added. The foreign minister also emphasized the need for greater collaboration between the two countries in different fields to build a common future. “Peace in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for regional stability and development; however; he warned against element conspiracy against intra-Afghan peace process.” He further said that Pakistan wants honorable return of Afghan refugees to their home country.

He said that now international community is supporting and acknowledging political solution for Afghan issue. He urged leadership of Afghanistan should seize this opportunity of peace in the country. FM Qureshi also revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has accepted invitation for Afghanistan visit by President Ashraf Ghani during a telephonic conversation between two leaders on September 25. NNI

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