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Pakistan’s Promise to Work on Peace with Afghanistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, on his maiden visit to Afghanistan, stated his desire to put an end to violence and establish peace in the region. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq, and other senior officials. 

While the Pakistani PM and the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Khan spoke about Pakistan’s historical ties with Afghanistan. He visited Afghanistan in such times when violence is at its peak to promote their want to have peace and the importance of how it can be achieved with trade and connectivity. During the visit, both countries jointly issued a document titled, ‘Shared Vision between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to support peace and stability in both countries and the wider region’. This focuses on a relationship built on trust between the two countries leading to tangible outcomes for both. They agreed to work on various issues but the fast-track issues that needed immediate attention were-

By December 15, 2020: Re-energizing joint intelligence services-led work on analyzing, mapping, and cooperating against “enemies of peace and those undermining the peace process”. 

By January 1, 2021: A joint proposal for refugees’ return; elevating and intensifying treatment of this issue, to the point where credible and progressive action can start to be taken.  

By January 1, 2021: A joint proposal to further regional connectivity, in a way that strengthens both Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the wider region.  

When talking about the future of cooperation between the two neighbors, the document said the government leaders of both countries will visit each other’s capital alternately “to keep the momentum going” an initiative started with the visit of Prime Minister Imran to Kabul. Afghan President Ghani will plan a reciprocal visit to Islamabad in the first quarter of next year, it added. According to the statement, Afghanistan will share with Pakistan a “summary of the key issues that are being discussed during the Afghanistan Peace Process”.

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