ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a joint press conference with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani reaffirmed his vision of a strong and comprehensive partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The premier gratified that Ghani had a similar vision for the two countries.
“Our two countries face formidable challenges including extremism and terrorism, a precarious security environment and transnational crimes,” said the prime minister.
The premier outlined immense opportunities for the two countries and said both countries were yet to discover the vast potential of their (Pak-Afghan) bilateral co-operation.
Both the premier and Ghani had earlier deliberated on vital issues.
“I reaffirmed that a full, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s vital national interest,” the PM stated.
PM Nawaz further underlined Pakistan’s commitment to comprehensively upgrading cooperation in all fields including border security and defence, Afghanistan’s reconstruction and rehabilitation, capacity building, parliamentary exchanges and cultural educational port links.
Both leaders are eager to build a robust economic partnership which they aim to achieve through expansion of trade promotion, investment, improving infrastructure and enhancing their energy collaboration.
“The two finance ministers have signed the document that advances the realisation of this vital goal,” the premier confirmed.
PM Nawaz also shed light on the fact that connectivity and regional economic cooperation were the indispensable elements of their engagement.
The PM went on to laud the efforts of Afghanistan commencing the ‘transformation decade’ and ensured the people of Afghanistan that Pakistan would support them in their endeavors.
Ghani expressed similar views for the two countries.
“We have a shared vision that Pakistan and Afghanistan will serve the hearts of Asia to ensure that economic integration in Asia becomes a reality and does not remain a dream” he said.
He termed the partnership between Afghanistan and Pakistan as an important pillar of Afghan’s foreign policy, Radio Pakistan reported.
“I want to welcome the enormous steps taken in the last three days to achieve progress in the economy,” Ghani said.
“We have overcome obstacles of 30 years in last three days” said Ghani in his remarks.
Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani arrived at Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s official residence on Saturday morning to commence talks with the premier in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Ghani was presented with the Guard of Honour upon his arrival and was later greeted by officials from the government, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali.
Nawaz also met with Afghan dignitaries who have accompanied Ghani on his two-day visit.
Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani arrived in Islamabad on Friday morning on his first official trip to Pakistan.
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.
Ghani and Nawaz Sharif will watch a cricket match between Afghanistan and Pakistan cricket teams at Shalimar Cricket Ground and Ghani will later fly back.
Nawaz, Ghani watch cricket match
PM Nawaz Sharif and Afghan president Ashraf Ghani arrived at Shalimar Stadium in Islamabad to watch a friendly cricket match between the two countries, Express News reported.
As Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 54 runs in the match, Prime Minister Pakistan and President Afghanistan presented cheque and trophy to the winning team.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan, former PCB chairman Najam Sethi and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar were also present at the venue.
Express News screengrab of former PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, incumbent PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif