Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to visit Pakistan

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Ashraf Ghani

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani accepted Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s invitation to come to Pakistan to strengthen diplomatic ties.
Ghani, who had previously declined the invitation to come to the neighbouring country in May, assured that he will come with his entire family this time.
COAS had extended the invitation during his recent visit to Afghanistan.
On October 2, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Afghanistan, upon invitation from Ghani.
The army chief held a one-on-one meeting with President Ghani at the Presidential Palace followed by a delegation-level talk, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The Afghan president said Afghanistan and Pakistan are friendly countries and together both shall move towards enduring peace and stability.
During the meetings, both sides reviewed the prevailing security environment in the region and the bilateral relationship of the two countries.
Both sides also agreed on the framework for working towards a peaceful environment that is conducive to the political process essential for enduring Afghan peace and regional stability. There was also a consensus on regular and focused dialogue at multiple levels to evolve the bilateral process for minimising misunderstanding, managing crisis situations and enhancing cooperation in order to bring peace and stability in the region, the ISPR said further.
From the Afghan side, Afghanistan’s second vice president, first deputy chief executive officer, second deputy chief executive officer, national security adviser, the intelligence chief, defence minister, interior minister, Kabul’s envoy to Islamabad and the army chief attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Gen Bajwa was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, DG ISI Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s envoy in Kabul and staff of the army chief.
“Issues related to long-term peace, cooperation against the shared threats, coordination between respective counter-terrorism campaigns to restrict space for non-state actors, intelligence sharing, trade and commerce, and people-to-people contacts were discussed,” the ISPR stated.
The two countries often trade accusations of fomenting militancy and terrorism within each other’s borders, as well as cross-border attacks.
Pakistan blames Afghanistan for hosting several terrorist groups that use its soil against Pakistan, and vice versa.
Last week, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan cannot take responsibility for peace and security in Afghanistan, adding that effective border management with Afghanistan is imperative to stop infiltration of terrorists.
Speaking at the Asia Society seminar in New York on Wednesday, the minister said the US cannot succeed in Afghanistan by waging war.
Asif said that no one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan, but that a number of Afghan leaders want to continue status quo for their vested interests.
The minister blamed India for carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan through Afghanistan, saying that more than 66 terrorist organisations are active inside India.

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