Pakistan, Afghanistan discuss efforts to restore peace

Visiting Afghan deputy foreign minister calls on Pakistan’s foreign secretary in Islamabad

Pakistan, Afghanistan discuss efforts to restore peace

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistan's foreign secretary and Afghan deputy foreign minister on Saturday discussed ways to ratchet up efforts for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Nasir Andisha is on a visit to Pakistan to mark the Afghan independence celebrations and for the foundation-laying ceremony of the new Afghan Embassy in Islamabad.

The second high-level meeting between the two neighbors in less than a week is seen as part of ongoing efforts aimed at repairing rifts between the two sides amid allegations of cross-border terrorism, interference and trade barriers.

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, leading a diplomatic delegation, visited Kabul in an effort to restore ties with the war-torn country.

In Saturday's meeting, "they discussed strengthening cooperation between the countries in diverse fields as well as in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan", said a statement by the Foreign Office.

Recognizing that terrorism was a common enemy of the two countries and their peoples, the two sides agreed to deepen cooperation and coordination in counter-terrorism efforts, the statement added.

Pakistan also emphasized the need of expediting infrastructure and energy connectivity projects between the two neighbors, it said.

The development followed the meeting between U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Joseph L. Votel and Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday in garrison city of Rawalpindi to discuss the security situation in Afghanistan.

Islamabad and Kabul have long been accusing each other of providing safe havens to militants.

A series of terrorist attacks in both countries, for which the two sides blame each other, has put a further strain on already tense relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent months.

Pakistan brokered the landmark first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government and the Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015, but the process broke down after Taliban announced the death of their long-term leader Mullah Omer triggering a bitter power struggle within the militia.

Chance for resumption of the stalled process went further dim following death of Mullah Omer’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansur in a U.S. drone strike on Pakistan’s soil last year.

Since then, several attempts to resume the stalled peace process have been made by a four-nation group comprised of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the U.S. and China.

Until now, however, these attempts have failed to bear fruit.

Taliban have opened new battle fronts across Afghanistan in recent months as Afghan security forces -- suffering casualties and desertions -- struggle to beat back a revitalized insurgency.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ağustos 2017, 17:33