Islamabad renews support for Afghan peace process
KABUL (PAN): Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to promoting lasting peace in the region, particularly in Afghanistan, saying reconciliation in the war-torn country is in the interest of its neighbours.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif renewed Pakistan’s commitment to stability in Afghanistan at meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
While assuring his government’s full support for an Afghan-led peace process, Sharif called a comprehensive reconciliation drive a shared goal of the two countries, according to Pakistan’s state-owned news agency.
The Associated Press of Pakistan reported Sharif extended an invitation to the NATO secretary general to visit Islamabad on a convenient date. Rasmussen voiced his willingness to visit Pakistan in the near future.
He praised Pakistan’s role in facilitating the transit cargo to and from Afghanistan, hoping cooperation between Islamabad and the NATO would continue to achieve the shared objective of stability in war-torn nation.
At a separate meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Sharif said his government, while pursuing a dialogue with the Taliban, was also considering military action if talks failed.
A senior State Department official said the meeting also focused on the prospects for initiating peace talks between the Taliban and the Karzai administration. “We voiced our concern about the existence of safe havens on both sides of the border.”
The prime minister acknowledged the sanctuaries also posed a threat to Pakistan’s security, according to the official, who said the objective behind Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s release was to facilitate negotiations between the Taliban and the High Peace Council.
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