World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the Global Conference on Sustainable Transport in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Saturday, according to the Foreign Office.
The two leaders had a cordial exchange of views on efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan, and strengthening relations between the two countries, the office said in a statement.
Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan. “In this regard, he reiterated Pakistan’s keen desire for deepening engagement with Afghanistan, stressing on the need for enhancing bilateral political interaction, security coordination, trade and transit, connectivity and people to people exchanges,” it said.
The statement also emphasized on a politically-negotiated settlement through an “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process” as the most viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Sharif also expressed support for the recent peace agreement between the Afghan government and Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan.
The two leaders discussed the need for cooperation to combat the "scourge of terrorism". The Pakistani premier said eliminating terrorism required “effective coordination between security, intelligence and counter-terrorism institutions” of the two countries, it said.
Ghani thanked Sharif for Pakistan’s new development package of $500 million announced in Brussels last month. The two leaders also agreed on the need for continued engagement in other areas, including coordination for smooth, safe and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan, the statement added.