Pakistan seeks to cement ties with Afghanistan, says Sharif
KABUL (Pajhwok): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that building stable and cooperative relations with all countries in the region, including Afghanistan, is part of his vision for a peaceful neighborhood.
Sharif said this while talking to Syed Hussain Alami Balkhi, the Afghan minister of refugees and repatriation, the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad said on Thursday.
With the change of leadership in Afghanistan, the two countries have commenced a historic new phase in bilateral relations, agreeing to overcome the past and build a forward-looking relationship based on mutual trust, he added.
The prime minister said his focus was on enhanced political engagement, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, trade and economic partnership.
He called terrorism a common enemy that could be crushed with mutual endeavours. Both countries have had paid a very heavy price. “We have launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb which has broken the backbone of terrorists in the country,”
Sharif said Pakistan was fully committed to the internationally-endorsed Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees. The two countries should closely engage with UNHCR on devising a realistic roadmap for the repatriation of refugees, he stressed.
Sharif hoped Balkhi's visit would help advance the realisation of a "comprehensive and enduring" partnership between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He indicated his desire to visit Kabul to further bolster bilateral ties.
Balkhi thanked Pakistan for showing deep concern for their Afghan brethren affected by avalanches and for sending two planeloads of relief goods. He also conveyed best wishes from President Ashraf Ghani to the prime minister.
Balkhi said it was a blessing for the entire region that the prime minister was a visionary leader who had prioritised establishment of peace in the region. He said the desire of the Afghan people was to focus on economic development.
“We wish our security cooperation deepens and both countries work as one team, so that terrorists are given a decisive defeat,” said Balkhi, who added an inter-ministerial board had been formed to oversee the return of refugees.
He apprised the prime minister of his earlier meetings in Pakistan at the SAFRON Ministry as well as at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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