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Afghanistan, Pakistan agrees to reduce tensions

AT-: Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai led an inter-ministerial delegation—consisting of senior civilian and military officials—to visit Islamabad, Pakistan, at the invitation of Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs. The Deputy Foreign Minister, accompanied by Dr. Omar Zakhiwal, Special Envoy of the President and Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, met his Pakistani counterpart, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary, in an amicable and friendly atmosphere with a constructive agenda to address both sides’ concerns with regards to the recent tensions at the Torkham crossing.

Mr. Karzai raised with Foreign Secretary Chaudhary the various violations by Pakistan, including their building of installations and check posts inside the Afghan territory in Angor Ada, Ghulam Khan, and Khoja Kheder Mountain. Moreover, he strongly protested against Pakistan’s ongoing unprovoked artillery-shelling of Afghan villages.

To prevent such incidents from happening again, both sides agreed to establish an effective mechanism for consultation and coordination of issues of mutual concern and interest. This will be proposed for the consideration of the two countries’ leadership, who will meet on the sidelines of the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

In the meeting, respect for the mutual sovereignty and commitment to the principles of non-interference, non-aggression, and good neighborly relations were stressed. They acknowledged that the stability, security, and prosperity of Afghanistan depend on those of Pakistan and vice versa. Moreover, the Afghan side noted that in the fight against terrorism no distinction be made between good and bad terrorists, and that Afghanistan and Pakistan should cooperate to defeat terrorism and end regional support for extremism.

 

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