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Afghan, Pak leaders discuss mending ties

Kabul and Islamabad are trying to turn the corner from a relationship marked by suspicion and out-and-out hostility toward a partnership for peace in the region.

AT News

KABUL: A high level delegation of the Pakistan government, led by the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, visited Kabul on Thursday amid historic peace negotiations underway in Doha of Qatar. He was warmly welcomed by the Afghan government. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Vice President Amrullah Saleh and other top government officials met him to exchange views on important issues, particularly the peace process. Khan’s visit to Afghanistan seems to be beneficial as he promised to help the Afghan government to reach a reduction in violence and a sustainable peace. Kabul seeks Pakistan’s sincere cooperation to the Afghan peace process as violence has been highly intensified with the Taliban staging attacks on the Afghan security forces across the country.  

After hours of meeting, the leaders of the two countries appeared to the media.  “Your coming here is historic,” Ghani said, while welcoming Pakistan’s Premier to Kabul. “Our common objective is to take a leap of faith to overcome the distrust that is hunting our relationship.”

Ghani suggested that a comprehensive political settlement for enduring peace within the framework of “our value, our constitution” and the Islamic Republic is the way to the future. Ghani highlighted the high level of violence that has been taking a huge toll on the Afghan mass on a daily basis.  “Your visit, while the violence is intensifying, is an important message,” He added.

But Pakistan Prime Minister assured that Islamabad would make unexpected efforts to help Afghanistan to reach peace.  “The whole idea of coming at a time when violence is increasing in Afghanistan,” Khan said, “is to assure that the government of Pakistan has only one concern which is peace.”

Khan cited Pakistan’s cooperation with the talks between the US and Taliban which led to signing a peace deal between Washington and the insurgents that also laid out the American troops’ phased drawdown and as well as the intra-Afghan negotiations between the Afghan war parties.  The whole objective of this visit is to build trust.

“Despite the talks in Qatar, the level of violence is rising,” Khan said, adding that Pakistan will do whatever is possible to help to reduce “this violence”.

The warm waves between Afghanistan and Pakistan get moving as the two countries have seen critical relations.   

Some experts believe that these critical relations between the two neighboring countries affected the bilateral commercial, trade and transit between them. According to them, the trip would be fruitful if Pakistan stopped supporting the Taliban and pushed them to agree on a ceasefire.

Recently, Pakistan was applauded by Washington for its role in getting the Taliban to the peace table, first in direct talks with the United States, which resulted in an agreement, in which the US is withdrawing troops now. It also led to the intra-Afghan negotiation that is now underway in Doha of Qatar. 

Moreover, the two countries have also agreed on a shared vision to support peace and stability in both countries and the region.

“During the visit, an agreement was reached on Shared Vision to Support Peace and Stability in both countries and in the wider region. The document is highly important and the basic principles of the document are about cooperation between the two countries, cooperation in the field of peace, security and economic development,” Afghan foreign ministry said in a statement.

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