Afghanistan, Pakistan agree on need to restore trust

Afghanistan, Pakistan agree on need to restore trust
# 16 August 2017 19:30 (UTC +04:00)

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed on the need to restore mutual trust following persistent rifts between the two neighbors amid allegations of cross-border terrorism, interference and trade barriers, a senior Afghan official announced Wednesday.

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is leading a delegation to Kabul in an effort to restore ties with its neighbor, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said in a statement Wednesday.

The visit marked the first formal face-to-face interaction between high-ranking officials from both sides following the May 31 deadly truck bombing in Kabul that killed up to 150 people, mostly civilians; Afghanistan had blamed Pakistan-based Haqqani Network for the terrorist attack.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday, a wide range of issues, including the Afghan peace process, security along Durand Line -- the disputed border between the two countries -- and bilateral trade and transit were discussed Tuesday.

During her trip, Janjua had called on President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Chief of Afghan spy agency -- National Directorate of Security -- Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai, former President Hamid Karzai and Hizb-e-Wahdat leader, Ustaad Muhammad Mohaqiq.

Deputy foreign minister said the importance of political, security and economic engagements was highlighted during the exchange with the Pakistani delegation. Among the topics discussed was the format of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, meeting of leaders of both countries in Kazakh capital Astana, agreements made during visit of Chinese Foreign Minister of China to Kabul and Islamabad, the statement said.

The Pakistani embassy in a statement said Kabul and Islamabad agreed that lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan was critical for regional stability. The visiting foreign secretary had also emphasized that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and the focus should be on evolving a credible political settlement, it added.

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