ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz  Monday urged the quadrilateral meeting on proposed Afghan peace process to set its targets and establish a productive for direct talks with Taliban as early as possible, while saying that Pakistan was firmly committed to continue serious efforts for long-term peace and stability in the country,

Inaugurating the first meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Committee on Afghan peace process in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan values its brotherly and neighbourly relations with Afghanistan. Representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States were participating in the meeting.

He pointed out that the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia in Islamabad last month provided impetus to our quest for lasting peace in Afghanistan. The meeting on the sidelines of the Conference between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ashraf Ghani as well as quadrilateral interaction among Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and China reflected important consensus on the way forward on Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The advisor said on 27th of last month, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Afghanistan and had useful interaction with the Afghan side for strengthening the security and counter-terrorism cooperation through intelligence sharing and facilitating the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

He said today’s meeting of the Quadrilateral Groups has a great significance. He said the foremost task of the Group is to define the overall direction of the reconciliation process along with goals and targets to set with a view to creating conducive environment for holding directing talks between Afghan Government and Taliban groups.

The Advisor expressed the confidence that the meeting will be able to evolve an efficient procedural framework to provide the basis for smooth functioning of the group.