ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday underscored the need for a peaceful solution to issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Karzai visited PM Nawaz at his residence in London to inquire about his health following his open heart surgery, a statement posted on the former Afghan president’s official Facebook. The Afghan leader was in London to attend a conference.
“Both sides expressed hope for current difficulties to be resolved immediately,” the statement said in a veiled reference to the ongoing tensions along Torkham border.
PM Nawaz and the former Afghan president also stressed the need to strengthen as well as expand relations between the two countries.
Afghan border guards started ‘unprovoked firing’ at roughly 9:00pm on Sunday to disrupt the construction of a gate on the Pakistani side of the border. Cross fire along the border caused casualties on both sides.
In his previous statement regarding the ongoing issue, Karzai expressed “serious concern over the clashes at Torkham and hoped that both sides would resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.”
“Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbouring countries which have many religious and cultural commonalities and fighting would cause human and financial losses to both countries,” he said.
Karzai further urged Afghans to “stand behind the country’s national forces to defend the country.”
Although Pakistan and Afghanistan mutually agreed to observe a ceasefire on Monday, tensions still persist as the flag meeting on Thursday could not solve the issue. Both sides are now calling for diplomatic solutions to the problem.
Further, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz told the National Assembly on Thursday that he has invited National Security Adviser of Afghanistan Hanif Atmar to visit Pakistan along with Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, in order to discuss ongoing tensions between the two countries and to remove any gaps in communication or understanding.
Aziz had also welcomed the ceasefire and hoped that both sides move forward for early normalisation and resumption of normal traffic, while the construction works on Pakistani side continue simultaneously.
Afghanistan accepts Pakistan’s offer to hold talks on Torkham border issue
According to spokesperson for Afghan National Security Council Tawab Ghorzang, the Afghan government on Friday decided that a delegation led by Afghanistan Deputy Foreign Minister will travel to Pakistan.
Correction with Apology:
Afg-Govt. decided that a Delegation led by Afghanistan Deputy Foreign Minister will travel to Pakistan. (2)
— Tawab Ghorzang (@TawabGhorzang1) June 17, 2016