Pakistan, Afghanistan renew resolve to cement bilateral ties

FM warns Afghan leadership of 'spoiler' operating inside and outside Afghanistan

By: News Desk
Published: 11:28 PM, 12 Jan, 2021
Pakistan, Afghanistan renew resolve to cement bilateral ties
Caption: Afghan Hizb-e-Wahdat Islami Chairman Karim Khalili calls on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
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Afghan Hizb-e-Wahdat Islami Chairman Karim Khalili and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a meeting on Tuesday. The two sides shed light on Pak-Afghan relations and reiterated the resolve to strengthen the bilateral ties.

Qureshi renewed Islamabad’s commitment to continue backing the peace process in Afghanistan, saying that Pakistan was desirous of durable peace in Afghanistan. However, the FM warned about ‘spoilers’ operating inside and outside Afghanistan, saying: “The Afghan leadership should be aware of spoilers.”

The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan were tied through immutable bonds of history, faith, culture and tradition, he said, listing Pak steps to strengthen bilateral and trade ties and introduction of revised visa policy to facilitate Afghans.

Qureshi said Pakistan has always emphasised that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and that a negotiated political settlement was the only way forward. He highlighted the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Qureshi hoped that the return of peace and stability in Afghanistan would provide a strong impetus to economic development, regional integration, and connectivity, benefitting Afghanistan and the region. He said Pakistan is committed to the safe return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

Ustad Karim Khalili thanked for Pakistan’s continued support to Afghanistan, particularly in the peace process and for hosting millions of Afghan refugees for decades. He appreciated the various steps taken by Pakistan to strengthen two-state ties and facilitate Afghan nationals through revised visa policy.

The visit of Ustad Karim Khalili is part of Pakistan’s ongoing policy to reach out to political leadership in Afghanistan to forge a common understanding of the Afghan peace process and deepen people-to-people contact.