Pakistan has vital stake in peace, stability in Afghanistan

Pakistan has vital stake in peace, stability in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, (APP): Pakistan has vital stake in peace, stability in Afghanistan


Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Friday said Pakistan has a vital stake in peace and stability in Afghanistan .


"It goes without saying that without a stable Afghanistan , the security challenges facing Pakistan cannot be effectively addressed," he said in his inaugural address at the 5th round of Pakistan-Afghanistan Dialogue organized by Regional Peace Institute (RPI).


Sartaj Aziz said, for Pakistan , the security situation in Afghanistan was a matter of serious concern, adding, "We have strongly condemned recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan , particularly the 19 April terrorist attack in  Kabul ."


He said since the Government of National Unity took charge in Afghanistan , Pakistan has made sincere efforts to forge a long-lasting relationship with Afghanistan .


"Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, during his visit to Kabul on May 12, 2015 accompanied by the military leadership, declared that the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan . He has personally remained engaged with the Afghan leadership to rebuild mutual trust and understanding with Afghanistan ," he added.


The Advisor recalled that on  December 9, 2015, Pakistan hosted the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process which reaffirmed the commitment of the participating and supporting countries as well as the associated international organizations for effective cooperation for combating security threats and promoting regional cooperation and connectivity.


"Pakistan has been engaged in sincere and consistent efforts for promoting peace and reconciliation through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace. We believe that a politically negotiated settlement remains a viable option," he added.


Sartaj Aziz said, "In 2015, we facilitated direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Murree. Unfortunately, the talks were scuttled."


Sartaj Aziz said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising Afghanistan , Pakistan , US and China, has been making joint efforts for reviving direct talks between the Afghan Government and Taliban .


He, however, added that Taliban have not yet responded positively to these efforts but "we believe that QCG countries in line with their shared responsibility should continue efforts for peace talks ."


Sartaj Aziz said the Fifth Meeting of the QCG , held on May 18 in Islamabad, reaffirmed the commitment of all member states to the Afghan peace process and to continue efforts to revive direct peace talks .


"Pakistan along with other QCG members will continue to make serious efforts in this regard," he added.


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