ECO Summit 2017: Afghan President refuse to come to Islamabad

ECO Summit 2017: Afghan President refuse to come to Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has once again shown hostility towards Pakistan as Pakistan is holding an important regional summit and Afghanistan President has refused to attend the summit heads meeting in Islamabad.

  Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will not attend the 13th Economic Cooperation Organization summit to be held tomorrow (March 1) as Pakistan and Afghanistan struggle to improve ties.

Addressing a news conference here after the conclusion of two-day Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the ECO-member countries, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary said that Afghanistan would be represented by a “special representative” of Kabul who had been selected by President Ghani.

To a question, he said, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal was the “special representative” who would participate in the summit.

Chaudhry said that five heads of state, three heads of government, one deputy prime minister, and one special envoy will attend the summit meeting on March 1.

The secretary said that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan and the region.

“We also expect Afghanistan to stop use of its soil against Pakistan,” he said.

Chaudhry said that Pakistan was an independent nation and would take its own decisions. 

“Our agenda is peace in the region and the world. We never conspire against any country and expect others to respect peace. Like us Afghanistan is also a sovereign country and can take its own decisions,” he added.

The secretary said that Pakistan never faced isolation as it wanted to work with the neighbours and the world.

“The isolation is a mere propaganda. We are part of the global system and want to work with all the nations,” he contended.

Earlier, the member countries finalised the draft of the Islamabad Declaration – focusing on connectivity - for the 13th ECO summit to be held tomorrow (March 1).