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‘2016 bitter year for Afghan-Pak relations’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Afghan envoy to Islamabad, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal has emphasized on tension-free relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Trust-deficit has already reached at boiling point between the two neighboring states.

Zakhilwal said, both sides should learn something good by memorizing their incorrect acts and decisions in past to normalize and improve better ties between the two states.

“There had been a lot of mistakes over the past one year and both have learnt a lot,” he said in an interview published on Monday. He termed 2016 bitter and tens year for bilateral relations.

Moreover, he rejected the general idea that President Ashraf Ghani had turned down Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to visit Pakistan.

According media reports, Ashraf Ghani had rejected the invitation to visit Pakistan that was delivered by the ISI Chief during his visit to Kabul.

“I confirm Pakistan National Assembly Speaker, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq’s statement that Ghani has not rejected the invitation to visit Pakistan,” Zakhilwal was quoted as saying by Daily Times.

“Instead, he rightly responded that the last visit by a leader to each other’s capital was made by him in December 2015. It, therefore, was the Pakistan Prime Minister’s turn to visit Kabul and that he would visit next,” he furthered.

Responding to a query, Zakhilwal was hopeful regarding the reopening of Chaman crossing point in the nearest time, he underlined the capability of the authorities on both sides who succeeded to stop shelling across the Durand Line as a result of 15-minutes table talks.

“It did not escalate and lives were saved on both sides, we are moving in the right direction,” he said, adding that closure of crossing points on Durand Line remains harmful for bilateral trade and movement of ordinary men and women.

Diplomatic efforts made by the Afghan envoy, aimed at normalizing and improving bilateral relations between Kabul and Islamabad must be recognized and appreciated. However, the again and again closure of crossing points, nurturing terrorist outfits and rocket shelling into the Afghan territory could not be justified. The bilateral relations between the countries could be improved in the absence of safe terror havens on Pakistan soil and zero interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan.

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