Afghan, Pakistani officials discuss security challenges
KABUL (Pajhwok): A high-powered Afghan delegation returned home from Islamabad late on Thursday after holding comprehensive talks on improved bilateral ties with Pakistani officials.
Syed Zafar Hashmi, deputy presidential spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the delegation, led by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, had detailed meetings with Pakistan officials.
However, he did not share details of what specifically they discussed with their Pakistani interlocutors, but media reports suggest that Islamabad had advised Kabul to resume peace talks with the Taliban.
Salahuddin Rabbani led the delegation which included Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai and Director General of National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil.
The Afghan delegation met Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The team was likely to meet military officials, but the meeting did not transpire.
Aziz assured the Afghan delegation of Pakistan's complete support for the elimination of terrorism and cooperation in dealing with common challenges.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and NDS chief accused a branch of the Pakistan military of being behind the Shah Shaheed carnage.
Soon after a recent wave of terrorist attacks, Ghani pledged he would send a delegation to Islamabad to discuss the situation with high Pakistani officials. He also asked Islamabad to rein the in terrorists being trained on Pakistani soil.
A late-night statement from the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the two sides, inter alia, had candid discussion on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, the evolving political and security situation in Afghanistan, security cooperation and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
The advisor conveyed Pakistan’s conviction for building a constructive and forward-looking relationship with Afghanistan, and reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to work with Afghanistan to overcome all challenges.
He emphasised that the two countries should have trust and faith in each other and discourage spoilers and detractors, who had been trying to create mistrust between the neighbours.
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