Joint efforts for regional peace promised
Sharif and President Hamid Karzai held a second round of one-on-one talks in the tourist resort of Murree near the Pakistani capital after the Afghan leader extended his stay at the prime minister’s request.
“The two leaders stayed overnight in Murree to hold more talks the next day on important issues of bilateral and regional cooperation,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s House said.
Pakistan attached importance to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan, Sharif said, stressing the need for jointly addressing common challenges and huge opportunities.
Pakistan’s security and future prosperity was linked in multiple ways to the situation Afghanistan, he said, reaffirming Islamabad’s sincere support for the Afghan-led effort for peace and reconciliation.
Sharif said the region had witnessed conflict and instability for decades and it was high time to realise the common agenda of peace and development.
Afghanistan was represented by Karzai, his National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, High Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani and Commerce Minister Anwarul Haq Ahady.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani also attended the meeting.
On Monday, Karzai and Sharif had met at the Prime Minister’s House for an hour to discuss joint efforts to counter terrorism and enhance bilateral trade.
An official of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said the extension of the Afghan president's visit reflected willingness on both sides to work together for achieving shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office said the talks were marked by cordiality and mutual understanding. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and broaden relations.
They agreed to continue to work together for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. To this end, the two sides also agreed to maintain and enhance mutual engagement on issues of regional peace and stability.
Karzai extended an invitation to Sharif to visit Afghanistan. The prime minister accepted the invitation and dates would be determined through diplomatic channels.
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