Islamabad, Kabul agree to operationalize APAPPS’ five working groups

1525
Pakistan, Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have held wide-ranging talks on Afghan-led peace process and return of Afghan refugees in Kabul on Friday.
According to a statement issued by Foreign Office, the two sides discussed bilateral relations fight against terrorism, Afghan-led peace talks, return of Afghan refugees, prisoners exchange and Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity .
The two leaders agreed that Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) provided a useful framework for broad based and structured engagement on all issues of mutual interest and decided to operationalize the five working groups under APAPPS.
Both the leaders also discussed Pakistan’s connection to the Central Asia, energy transition, Quetta-Kandahar-Herat and Peshawar-Jalalabad railroad projects and construction of Peshawar-Jalalabad highway.
They agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity. The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat. They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the occasion welcomed Afghan government’s peace offer to Taliban. He said an Afghan-led peace process is the only way to stability in the country and Pakistan is ready for cooperation in this respect. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward.
The Afghan President reiterated that the current situation does not benefit anyone and that any concerns in this respect should be addressed through talks.
The two sides agreed that delegations of both countries will prepare a timeline and mechanism for return of Afghan refugees to the country.
Prime Minister Abbasi invited President Ghani for an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also held talks with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah .
Various Afghan leaders including Hizb-e-Wahdat leader Ustad Mohammad Mohaqiq, Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, and Chairman High Peace Counicl Ustad Mohammad Karim Khalili also called on Prime Minister in Kabul.
The Prime Minister also met Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Both leaders discussed the entire range of bilateral matters and agreed on regular leadership contacts.
Prime Minister of Pakistan announced a gift of 40 thousand tons wheat for the Afghan people. He also announced waiver of additional regulatory duty on Afghan export to Pakistan to help lift the Afghan economy. The two sides also agreed to initiate discussions on consular matters and exchange of civilian prisoners.
President Ghani and Prime Minister Abbasi reaffirmed their resolve to build trust and confidence between the two countries by working closely for peace, prosperity and stability in their countries. The two leaders agreed to continue the exchange of high level visits.
Prime Minister Abbasi extended invitations to President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to visit Islamabad at their earliest convenience.

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