Pakistan supports Afghan-led peace process: Rabbani

Senate chairman says joint efforts needed to root out terrorism


Tahir Khan March 28, 2017
Former Taliban envoy to the UN and Pakistan Abdul Hakim Mujahid speaks at opening session on Tuesday. PHOTO: TAHIR KHAN

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said on Tuesday that Pakistan strongly supports Afghan owned and Afghan led efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

In an interaction with Afghan parliamentary delegation he stressed that both countries share cultural, linguistic and historical similarities and there is a dire need to give parliamentary diplomacy a chance to bring the two sides more close to each other and work together for peace and prosperity of the people of the two countries.

He said that terrorism is the biggest challenge and joint efforts were required to root out this menace.

“Pakistan has suffered huge losses due to terrorism and it is committed to eradicating this menace,” Rabbani said.

The Senate chairman said that regional and global players were continuously involved to destabilise the regional peace and promote their own agenda. “Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all the neighbouring countries,” he underscored.

He stated that peace in the region has mutual benefits for Pakistan and Afghanistan and both the sides must work together to promote peace and build strong linkages.

Terming the dialogue process beneficial, he emphasised that there was a need to further boost mutual cooperation in different sectors to strengthen people to people contacts.

Pakistani and Afghan members of parliament, former officials, members of civil society and media persons are holding talks in Islamabad to give their input as to how to improve relations between the two countries.

Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to shun violence

The meeting is being held when the bilateral relations are at their lowest ebb following terrorist attacks in Pakistan last month which claimed more than 100 lives.

Pakistani security officials insist that those claiming responsibility for the attacks operate from the Afghan side of the border.

Independent groups Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) Islamabad and Kabul-based Women & Peace Studies Organisation (WPSO) are organising the “Pakistan-Afghanistan track 1.5 & II project Beyond Boundaries.”

According to CRRS head Imtiaz Gul, the dialogue is aimed at developing an understanding of the identified bilateral issues to help detox narratives, improve public perceptions and mitigate mutual allegations and suspicions.

Pakistan reopens border with Afghanistan

The organisers opined that the members act as a bridge between the two governments to ensure the continuation of bilateral conversation and promote and foster people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

The dialogue members are scheduled to hold meetings with senior Pakistani officials including Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Naseer Janjua over the next two days.

Both sides have already held meetings in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, and Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan.

The groups say they will keep consulting with their respective governments on the progress of the previous and newly generated recommendations of “Beyond Boundaries initiative.”

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