Pakistan, Afghanistan hold talks to reset bilateral ties
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman called on Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here on Tuesday in a bid to reset bilateral ties between the neighbouring countries.
On his part, Qureshi reassured Zaman that Pakistan remained committed to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan which is a pre-requisite for development and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan.
Zaman is currently on a visit to Islamabad to participate in the first quarterly review session of the Afghanistan- Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) that held its first meeting on Monday.
The APAPPS was established in May last year to provide a comprehensive and structured framework for institutional bilateral engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan in diverse areas of cooperation.
The mechanism works through five Working Groups namely Politico-Diplomatic, Military-to-Military Coordination, Intelligence Cooperation, Economic and Refugees.
Sohail Mahmood, who headed the Pakistani delegation on Monday, reaffirmed “Islamabad’s commitment to further deepen close brotherly relations with Afghanistan” based on mutual trust to the benefit of the two countries.
“The Pakistan side reiterated its commitment to a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace within and at peace with its neighbours. Pakistan also emphasised that durable peace and stability could be achieved only through an inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process,” the statement said.
It added, “It was also agreed that the APAPPS was the best forum to overcome common challenges and to take bilateral relations to the next level.”
The APAPPS held its last meeting in July last year in Kabul. The process was disrupted at that time due to the fragile nature of the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Express Tribune reported.
The latest move to resume talks under the bilateral mechanism came after behind-the-scene efforts by the two sides.
Last month, Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib led a high-powered delegation to Islamabad as part of a renewed push to remove irregularities in the bilateral ties.
The recent meeting between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Saudi Arabia further helped in breaking the ice.
During the meeting yesterday, it was agreed that the APAPPS Working Groups will hold meetings over the next few months in order to find a political solution to the almost 19-years long Afghan war.
The next review meeting is scheduled to be held in Kabul in December 2019.(ANI)