Ghani, Sharif resolve to fight against opponents of peace
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): At an icebreaking meeting in Paris, Afghan and Pakistani leaders promised on Monday joint efforts to promote the Afghan-led peace process and take on board all legitimate political actors.
President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, meeting on the periphery of the UN-sponsored Climate Change Summit in France, resolved to act together against the elements refusing to take the path of peace.
Both countries were faced with a common threat, Sharif's office said. President Ghani agreed to work together with Pakistan to vanquish the scourge of terrorism and develop cooperative relations.
In Islamabad, the Prime Minister House said British Premier David Cameron also attended the trilateral talks. “Both leaders agreed to work … against those who refuse to take the path of peace,” Sharif was quoted as saying.
He reiterated support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace drive, saying Pakistan remained committed to building a stable Afghanistan, which was in the best interest of the entire region. .
With regard to the ongoing military offensive against terrorism in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region near the Afghanistan border, Sharif made clear Operation Zarb-i-Azb targeted militants of all stripes, including those against the neighbouring country.
Cameron lauded the strong commitment of Kabul and Islamabad to work closely for achieving their common objective of stability in Afghanistan. He assured both leaders the UK would support their common endeavour to promote the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
"Discussions were also held on the resumption of the peace and reconciliation process,” a statement from the PM’s office said, adding Pakistan would do all it could to stabilise the neighbour.
The Pakistani leader pledged to work with Afghanistan to improve regional economic connectivity. “We are ready to take concrete steps to improve these links for the benefit of the two countries.”
For his part, Ghani said Afghanistan also desired to develop peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan. He favoured increased economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The fence-mending meeting came in response to a request from Islamabad. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah informed a cabinet meeting earlier in the ay Pashtun political leaders from Pakistan had urged the president on Thursday to meet the prime minister.
Based on the outcome of the talks in Paris, Ghani will decide whether or not to participate in the upcoming ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia Conference that will take place in Islamabad next week.
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Afrasiab Khattak, who was part of the delegation that returned from Kabul yesterday, told Pajhwok Afghan News Ghani had agreed to meet Sharif in the French capital.
Last night, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali also hinted at the Paris meeting. He told Dawn TV channel the Afghan government was open to talks and the leadership of both countries should work for resolving outstanding issues.
Pakistan had hosted the first face-to-face talks between Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Murree on July 7. The second round, slated for July 31, was postponed after the disclosure of Mullah Omar’s death.
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