ISLAMABAD: Senior officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan have acknowledged that the ‘upward trajectory’ in their relationship is leading to better coordinated measures by the two neighbours to deal with the terror threat.
The statement issued following the foreign secretary level consultations between the two countries held here on Tuesday.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led the Pakistani delegation while the Afghan delegation was headed by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.
“It was agreed that mutual trust and confidence between the two countries was leading towards better coordinated measures to root out the menace of terrorism,” the foreign office statement said.
It said the two sides reviewed all facets of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations and exchanged views on a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including peace and stability, counter-terrorism, border-security, trade and economic cooperation, Afghan refugees and regional cooperation.
Expressing satisfaction on the positive momentum of bilateral relations, the foreign secretary reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to maintain this upward trajectory.
He said that the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Kabul had been vital to further cement the inextricable bonds between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He stressed the need for greater political engagement, stronger focus on economic development and well coordinated security cooperation to achieve shared goals of peace and prosperity in the two countries as well as in the wider region.
Both sides discussed Pakistan’s contribution towards development of Afghanistan through Pakistani funded projects for reconstruction and rehabilitation in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s facilitative role in promoting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process was also discussed.
Relations between Islamabad and Kabul have improved ever since the unity government led by President Ashraf Ghani came to power.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2015.