KABUL – Leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday reached a consensus that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward.
Prime Minister Abbasi welcomed President Ghani’s vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to Taliban. Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward. The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat. They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other. Both the leaders agreed that peace, prosperity and stability of the two countries are interlinked.
At the invitation of President Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached Kabul on a day-long visit. He was flanked by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and other senior officials.
Abbasi and Ghani held one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks at the Afghan Presidential Palace.
According to an official press release, “The prime minister discussed the entire gamut of Pak-Afghan relations including peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, return of Afghan refugees, bilateral trade and regional connectivity. The two leaders agreed that Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) provided a useful framework for broad based and structured engagement on all issues of mutual interest and decided to operationalize the five working groups under APAPPS”.
They reaffirmed their resolve to work together to address all issues of bilateral and transit trade. They also expressed their firm resolve not to allow politics to affect their economic relationship which was important for the welfare of the peoples of the two countries.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to regional connectivity as they had done in Herat on 23rd February 2018 while jointly inaugurating the entry of TAPI Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan.
They agreed to hold an early meeting of the Joint Economic Commission to take forward planning and implementation of key rail road gas pipeline and energy projects that would integrate Pakistan and Afghanistan with Central Asia.
The two leaders also agreed to move forward on Chaman-Kandahar-Herat railway line, Peshawar-Kabul Motorway, and other connectivity projects which can help realize the tremendous potential of South and Central Asian Regions by providing shortest access through the sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi.
They emphasized early completion of TAPI and CASA-1000 projects. The Prime Minister also met Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Both leaders discussed the entire range of bilateral matters and agreed on regular leadership contacts. Prime Minister of Pakistan announced a gift of 40 thousand tons wheat for the Afghan people. He also announced waiver of additional regulatory duty on Afghan export to Pakistan to help lift the Afghan economy. The two sides also agreed to initiate discussions on consular matters and exchange of civilian prisoners.
Both high ups also reaffirmed their resolve to build trust and confidence between the two countries by working closely for peace, prosperity and stability in their countries.
The two leaders agreed to continue the exchange of high level visits.
Prime Minister Abbasi extended invitations to President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to visit Islamabad at their earliest convenience.