Pakistan, Afghanistan call for regional security, stability

Kabul: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday reiterated the need for achieving regional security and stability for attaining lasting peace in South Asia.

The call was made during the bilateral meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghanistan President Ashraf in Kabul, according to the Express Tribune.

Abbasi is on a one-day visit to Afghanistan, having arrived earlier on Friday.

During the meet, the Pakistani Prime Minister discussed a variety of issues such as counter-terror cooperation, the regional situation in South Asia, repatriation of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and bilateral trade and power projects among others with the Afghan President.

Abbasi also extended an invitation to Ghani to visit Pakistan soon. The former is expected to hold talks with Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and other officials.

The Pakistan Prime Minister is accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and National Security Advisor (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua.

Ghani received Abbasi and the delegation at the Afghan Presidential Palace and was accorded a guard of honour.

Abbasi’s visit to Afghanistan follows an invitation by Ghani. It comes in the light of Pakistan backing Ghani’s peace offering to the Taliban.

Earlier this week, a high-level Pakistani delegation, headed by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua visited Afghanistan to hold talks with Afghan authorities on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), in an effort to improve the relations between the two countries.

Relations between Kabul and Islamabad have remained frosty in recent times due to the terrorist activities of the Taliban and Haqqani Network carried out in the former’s land. Afghanistan contests that the two groups are supported by Pakistan and it does very little to stop them.

Pakistan has urged Afghanistan to stop the blame game and asked for its co-operation in combating terrorism, as well as ensuring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

In February, the Afghan President had made a peace offer to the Taliban in the Kabul Process Conference, which also included the recognition of the militant group as a political entity.

However, the group is yet to respond to Ghani’s offer. (ANI)