ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday that it would promote efforts to reach a peace deal in neighbouring Afghanistan before Nato's planned withdrawal.
Cameron is the first foreign government leader to visit Islamabad since Prime Minister Nawaz took office in June after winning landmark elections in May.
Relations between Kabul and Islamabad are traditionally mired in distrust. The apparent headway made at a summit hosted by Cameron in February has since unravelled in a series of public rows.
Cameron flew to Pakistan from Afghanistan, where he joined an international push to revive peace efforts that recently collapsed in ignominy after the insurgents opened an office in the Qatari capital Doha.
"We hope that the UK will continue these efforts to seek sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan," Nawaz told reporters after talks with Cameron.
He supported Afghan President Hamid Karzai's position that any peace process should be "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led".
"I have assured Prime Minister Cameron of our firm resolve to promote the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, to which the three million Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan can return with honour and dignity," said Nawaz.
Cameron welcomed Nawaz's remarks about the "vital importance of the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan".
"I profoundly believe that a stable, prosperous, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest, just as a strong, stable, peaceful, prosperous, democratic Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest, and I know that you and President Karzai will work together towards those ends," Cameron said.
The search for a peace deal is an urgent priority as 100,000 US-led Nato combat troops prepare to withdraw next year and Afghan forces take on the fight against insurgents that has lasted more than a decade.
The Taliban office in Qatar that opened on June 18 was meant to foster talks but instead enraged Karzai, who saw it as being styled as an embassy for a government-in-exile.
He broke off bilateral security talks with the Americans and threatened to boycott any peace process altogether.
On Saturday however, Karzai told Cameron that a subsequent Taliban attack on the presidential palace "will not deter us from seeking peace".
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I like the role of Pakistanis playing the second fiddle.
We are going to invade Afghaistan, either you are with or against us, there is no room to wiggle!
We are going to quit Afghanistan and to withdraw gracefully with our equipment. Please make peace with the Talibans so that they let us go peacefully.
yes sir, we are your loyal and faithful subjects.
@CK: Actually it was also Tony Blair who told the Pakistan parliament that 80% of terrorist plots in the UK had some Pakistani connection and he was not trying to sell military hardware to India while addressing the Pakistani parliament.
I love Obama. He talks a lot of friendship with Muslims and then quietly orders more drones. I love drones. Drones are smart, effective, modern, and beautiful!!
Mian jee why not discuss prospects for Pakistani people in UK? When he goes to India the PM asks him to open HSMP plan for their students and facilitate them, when he comes to you, all you do is ask for aid and some security assurance DUH!
UK has always been playing double games in the sub-continent. All trouble makers of sub-continent find asylum in London. Present day UK is like Mughal empire of 1857. Just ignore them.
Talks in Pakistan and investment in India. Read this news which has been published just today. Large economic corridor will developed in India jointly by UK and India.
And is Nawaz Sharif also supporting Cameron in supporting Altaf Bhai against all odds ?
“I profoundly believe that a stable, prosperous, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest, just as a strong, stable, peaceful, prosperous, democratic Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest, and I know that you and President Karzai will work together towards those ends,” Cameron said.
Said the same thing twice over. Correct the mistake
Dude where is my PM?
This is the same British PM who has blasted Pakistan on the other side of the border just so that they can buy military hardware from the British.
Pakistan always backs the peace process in Afghanistan since 1979, what is new in it?