Ghani's visit: Peace and stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest, says Hussain

Published: November 14, 2014
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President Mamnoon Hussain (L) in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at President House on Friday. PHOTO: PID

President Mamnoon Hussain (L) in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at President House on Friday. PHOTO: PID

President Mamnoon Hussain (L) in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at President House on Friday. PHOTO: PID Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: ISPR Visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (L) walks with Pakistani Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz following Ghani's arrival at the Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi on November 14, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Reiterating Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday said that they fully support the new Afghan leadership’s vision for a prosperous Afghanistan.

In a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the President House in Islamabad on the first day of his tow-day tour of Pakistan, Hussain said that close cooperative relations with Afghanistan based on mutual respect and trust remains a high priority in Pakistan’s foreign policy.

According to the president’s press secretary Saba Mohsin Raza, the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and the two presidents discussed multiple issues ranging from from the common challenges to further strengthening economic, trade and people to people contacts for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.

Hussain reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to providing assistance in training and capacity building of the Afghan security forces, adding that peace and stability in Afghanistan were in Pakistan’s interest.

Ghani said that his government and the people of Afghanistan desire to further strengthen bilateral relations with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest.

Later, President Hussain also hosted banquet in honour of his Afghan counterpart at Aiwan-e-Sadr which was attended by federal ministers, services chiefs, parliamentarians, ambassadors, business representatives and senior government officials.

Meeting at GHQ

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani lauded Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and the sacrifices made by the nation after visiting the General Headquarters (GHQ) on Friday afternoon, a press release from the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The Afghan leader was accompanied by Afghan Defence Minister General Bismillah Muhammadi, Afghan Chief of General Staff General Sher Muhammad Karimi and other senior Afghan security officials.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa in a tweet said Ghani’s trip took place amid a positive atmosphere and border cooperation was “in focus”.

Ghani said that Afghanistan wants to strengthen security and defence ties with Pakistan, including cooperation in training and border management. He also assured Afghanistan’s cooperation to jointly curb the menace of terrorism.

He was received by army chief General Raheel Sharif and a contingent of the Pakistan Army presented him with a guard of honour.

Watch a video of the Afghan president at GHQ:

Later, the Afghan delegation was also given a detailed briefing on the security situation of the Pak-Afghan border.

Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani arrived in Islamabad on Friday morning on his first official trip to Pakistan.

Ghani, who is due to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain, was welcomed by Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and other officials.

He is on a two-day official visit for important talks on key security issues and to expand economic ties with Pakistan.

The Afghan president, who is accompanied by a high level delegation of nearly 100 people, aims to seek Pakistan’s help in talks with the Taliban to avoid any instability in the post-NATO Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said that discussions will be held on all dimensions of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations during Ghani’s visit.

Other issues on the agenda include trade and economic cooperation, border security, connectivity, energy and people to people contacts.

Further, officials say that Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are expected to briefly speak at a joint presser and to witness a friendly Pakistan-Afghanistan cricket match in Islamabad.

“The visit comes at a historic juncture in Afghanistan, marked by the recent peaceful transfer of power and formation of the government of national unity,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

“The recent developments in Afghanistan offer unique opportunity to transform the bilateral ties and to build a strong and forward looking relationship,” she added.

Economic relations are also on top of the agenda after Afghan Finance Minister Umer Zakhelwal visited Pakistan to explore ways to further boost bilateral trade.

Zakhelwal met his Pakistani counterpart Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Thursday and both agreed to enhance bilateral trade from the existing $2.5 billion to 5 $billion by the next two to three years, the Finance Ministry said.

Pakistan has been providing transit facilities to the landlocked Afghanistan since the 1960s under a transit agreement. Transit issues will also be discussed during the talks.

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to promote bilateral ties

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in economic and trade relations to the benefit of the two countries, Radio Pakistan reported.

The agreement came during a meeting between Ghani and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Later, Sartaj Aziz stated that Pakistan accords great significance to its relations with Afghanistan and offered the country’s support to Afghanistan’s various sectors.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Topak Khan
    Nov 14, 2014 - 10:09AM

    The President or the PM should have received him. When will we learn to give due respect to our western neighbours.
    Anyway welcome to Pakistan President Ghani.

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  • Omar Sadiq
    Nov 14, 2014 - 11:01AM

    Even I was thinking the same thing – couldn’t that useless Mamnoon Hussain or whatever the presidents name is, gone and received the Afghan president. This Mamnoon is much more worse than India’s Manmohan Singh.

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  • Fareed
    Nov 14, 2014 - 11:05AM

    @Topak Khan
    Good point mate. They would have respected themsleve bearing in mind that they will be visiting Afghanistan sometimes soon anyway and I am sure they expect to be recieved by an high offical not by an advisor. Should they earn it or not Afghans are not arrogant and I am sure Pakistani officials will receive the respect they deserve as we witnessed President of Pakistan was received by president Ghani last time when he arrived in Kabul.

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  • Blithe
    Nov 14, 2014 - 3:10PM

    Excellent foreign-policy approach by PML N . We need practical, pragmatic relations with our neighbours. There is so much we can do on the Western front , to collaborate , to improve the business relationships, to improve the security situation.

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  • Pakistani
    Nov 14, 2014 - 3:43PM

    The photograph posted at the news item either shows the high incompetence of the photographer of AFP and editor of tribune or the deliberate attempt to demean an offical of Pakistan.

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  • SameSame
    Nov 14, 2014 - 3:59PM

    The character of leaders reflects in all his team subordinates. The character of nation reflects in his leaders. A public leader is no different than his smallest subordinate here. The arrogance we see in a clerk will also reflect in that country’s leadership. The term “protocol” has lost its meaning. Now meant “Number of black cars” in a leaders’ caravan to show off. It’s originally meant “Due Respect” or “Rules of receiving” an official or “taking him around” according to his “Political position”.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 14, 2014 - 4:39PM

    Did he have any choice, apart from showering praises on Pak Establishment ?
    After all the chaos that Pakistan has caused in the region for their flawed policies !

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  • Khalid
    Nov 14, 2014 - 5:02PM

    I think the tide is turned against Pakistan. The situation is much more in favour of Afghanistan. All these visits in the last weeks by Pakistani officials is a evidence that Pakistan needs the cooperation of Afghanistan then vice versa. It is not about recognition of Durand Line that would never happen, but Pakistan is worried and they are no more in control of the game. Pakistan is unable to manage its security challenges and you see on daily/weekly basis the same thing happening such as:
    1. TTP violence
    2. Karachi Linguistic/ethnic violence
    3. Targeted killings of minorities
    4. Violence from Baluchistan independence movement
    5. Shia V Sunni or sectarian violence
    6. LET, LEJ etc
    7. Aharul Hind

    To add on to that just wait for the launch of ISIS and please do not deny that militants groups from Uzbakistan, China and Chechnya are also present. So mate, Afghanistan no longer wants Pakistan cooperation, but it is rather the other way around.

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  • Pseudonym!
    Nov 14, 2014 - 6:08PM

    @Khalid: According to current news & Pak internal socio-political environment …one can say; is comparatively, several time better than last twenty years, when terrorists were bombing innocent shoppers, pilgrims, students, minorities and security personnel daily. Your comment could be relevant the few years ago but not today. We had a very safe Muharram, Ramazan, Eid and political rallies. 80% of extremists are wiped out or tamed. Security at sensitive installation is doing its job. Pak is back in business. Afghan new leadership is friendly and trade & commerce getting better.

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  • salman
    Nov 14, 2014 - 6:41PM

    Nawaz Govt is busy in visiting European countries so Afghan’s President visit is solely because of Gen. Raheel efforts.

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 14, 2014 - 6:46PM

    @Topak Khan:
    The Afghan President will reciprocrate by sending his advisor on foreign affairs to meet Pakistani dignatories at the appropriate time. Besides, this simply demonstrates the cultural divide.

    Rex Minor

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  • Saad
    Nov 14, 2014 - 6:47PM

    To start things on a brighter note, it would have been a much better idea if someone of the same delegation, i.e the never-present Mamnoon Hussain was to receive the Afghan President, rather than a security adviser.

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  • Last Word
    Nov 14, 2014 - 6:50PM

    @Khalid:
    Quite agree with your comment. Pakistan is in a catch twenty two position whom to back as it can no longer play a double game as US and even China have put a huge responsibility on its shoulder to back the Afghan regime and abandon Taliban.

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  • Pakistani
    Nov 14, 2014 - 7:35PM

    Welcome Mr Ghani, we wish our afghan brothers peace and prosperity.

    Thank you for commencing your Presidency on a positive note in relation to Pakistan.

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  • US CENTCOM
    Nov 14, 2014 - 8:59PM

    I hope to see both nations build on this meeting and work together to combat the common menace of terrorism.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM

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  • Cautious
    Nov 14, 2014 - 9:09PM

    Afghan President meeting with Pakistan Military is a good thing … like it or not the Afghan’s know who controls foreign policy so they probably prefer to cut to the chase and meet with the policy makers. Lets hope there is real change in the attitudes of Pakistan and Afghanistan – cooperation is in the interest of both countries.

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  • Waseem Sarwar
    Nov 14, 2014 - 9:30PM

    @Khalid:
    I first thought you were serious. You have a pretty lame story to write. It is Afghanistan who will always need us. I think the only thing Pakistan require from Afghanistan is that they stop sending these militants in our country and if possible, take all Afghans back from our country.

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  • Dr.M.m.Khan
    Nov 14, 2014 - 9:43PM

    @Topak Khan:

    I agree but there is a subtle difference. The Afghani President is a President With full executive Powers while the Pakistni President has only symbolic Powers. The former should have been received by the PM but then the latter is taking a break in London—-the second Capital of Pakistan. Could it be the Afghani president’s visit was arranged by the army who after all run the show!

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  • Asif
    Nov 15, 2014 - 12:01AM

    Mr Ghani don’t waste your time by meeting Mr Mamnoon. He is just a Dummy President

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