Pakistan for stable, unified Afghanistan: Sartaj Aziz

Both sides agree on early meeting of Coordinating Authority on transit trade.

Web Desk July 22, 2013
Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz capped off a positive day-long tour of Afghanistan with progress on the bilateral transit trade agreement and Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepting an invitation to visit Pakistan.

A day after his trip, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released their official account of the visit.

It noted that Aziz had underscored Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to strengthen Pakistan’s fraternal ties with the Afghan people.

Aziz conveyed that a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan was in the vital interest of Pakistan. He emphasised Pakistan’s steadfast commitment to support the peace and reconciliation process, which he said should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led, in which Pakistan would continue to play a facilitating role.

The adviser conveyed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sincere desire to work with President Karzai for the furtherance of shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan and of strengthening the bilateral relationship in all its dimensions.

It listed Aziz's slew of meetings including those with President Karzai, foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul and the commerce and industries minister Anwarul Haq Ahadi. The Chairman of the High Peace Council (HPC) Salahuddin Rabbani also called on the adviser along with an HPC delegation.

Aziz conveyed a message of cordiality and goodwill from the leadership and Pakistani people, and underlined the new government’s resolve to further deepen and broaden the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relationship in all fields.

The adviser underscored that the two countries must work together to strengthen links with Central Asia, including through trade and mutually-beneficial energy projects, that would reinforce regional cooperation and promote common prosperity.

Both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Coordinating Authority established under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) as early as possible to address matters related to transit trade. The Afghan commerce minister will also visit Pakistan at the earliest opportunity to further advance the trade agenda.

Aziz was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and other senior Foreign Ministry officials, assisted by Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq in Kabul.


Invitation to visit Pakistan

Aziz also handed over the Prime Minister’s formal invitation to President Karzai to visit Pakistan for a summit-level meeting.

President Karzai accepted the invitation. The visit will take place on mutually-convenient dates.