Partnership growing with Kabul: Islamabad
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Describing recent thaw in Afghanistan-Pakistan ties as the “most encouraging story,” a top Pakistani diplomat on Thursday said a lot needed to be done to strengthen ties between the two South Asian neighbours.
“There is tremendous untapped potential in all fields of cooperation with Afghanistan,” Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told a Washington audience.
In his address to the prestigious Atlantic Council, Chaudhry said Pakistan had started quiet but profound steps that had already helped build confidence for future.
“We are working with Afghanistan to lay the foundation for an enduring and of mutually beneficial cooperation in security, defense, trade and investment. There is a lot that remain to be done!” Chaudhry said.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif government was striving to make progress on the external front especially expanding relationship with its key neighbors. “The most encouraging story that I can share with you is our growing partnership with the new Afghan government.
“We were privileged to receive President Ghani in Pakistan and our leadership has also maintained close contacts with President Ghani and the CEO Abdulllah Abdullah,” he said.
Pakistan, he reiterated, supported an Afghan-led reconciliation that could lead to enduring peace. “A successful reconciliation in Afghanistan can provide stimulus for managing other intractable issues that directly or indirectly contribute to instability such as return of millions of Afghan refugees, narcotics and cross-border terrorist networks,” he said.
He hoped the international community would continue undertaking its responsibilities in Afghanistan and not turn a page as it did in the past. “Repeating history risks repeating all of it!” Chaudhry said.
The official said Pakistan was determined to exercise zero tolerance for violent extremism as demonstrated by the ISIL. “We are equally determined to work with our Afghan brothers to ensure that our region is safe from this phenomenon,” the Pakistani official said.
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