“Afghanistan is ready to leave its bitter history with Pakistan behind, and move toward constructive state-to-state ties based on mutual respect rather than recrimination and hostility.”
AT News Report
KABUL: The leaders of the two neighboring countries, President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan held their first face-to-face talks Friday on the sidelines of an annual summit of Islamic countries in Saudi Arabia.
During meeting, Imran Khan assured President Ghani of his country’s support to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
Both the leaders also exchanged views on bilateral relations, regional issues and the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, Presidential Palace said in a statement.
Moreover, Pakistan media said that forthcoming visit of President Ghani to Pakistan “will provide an opportunity to further focus on political, security, economic and people-to-people aspects of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.”
The rare interaction at highest level is the latest sign of easing tensions as both the countries are going through tense situation. Relations deteriorated furthered when Pakistan time and again interfered into internal affairs of Afghanistan. This time Pakistan Primer got too far when said that new government, saying a new setup will be established in Afghanistan where the people will leave in peace and stability.
Soon after these remarks, Afghan Foreign Minister summoned Pakistani diplomats based in Kabul embassy and lodged strong complaints over Khan’s remark.
However, an Afghan presidential spokesman said the meeting in the Saudi city of Makkah was a prelude to Ghani’s official visit to Islamabad scheduled for next month. The Afghan leader has previously visited Pakistan but the upcoming trip will be his first since Khan took office last August.
“Afghanistan is ready to leave its bitter history with Pakistan behind, and move toward constructive state-to-state ties based on mutual respect rather than recrimination and hostility,” tweeted spokesman Samim Arif.
A Pakistani foreign ministry statement said that both Khan and Ghani agreed on the need to work closely for intensifying cooperation on such issues as energy, security, trade, and cultural collaboration.
Earlier this week, National Security Advisor Hamadullah Mohib had paid a visit to Pakistan where he held extensive discussions with the country’s military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on bilateral security matters and Afghan peace.