UFA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday attached great importance to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and said Pakistan is committed to its “full membership”.
"We must ensure regional stability and further economic integration to realise our goals. We must work together to mitigate differences, resolve outstanding disputes and create a favourable environment for the betterment of our people,” PM Nawaz said, while addressing the SCO on Friday.
Nawaz also spoke about the various challenges countries present at the summit face and emphasised that they need to be tackled vigorously.
“We have to confront the challenge of extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking,” he said.
PM meets Afghan president
Earlier during the day, the premier held a meeting with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of SCO summit in Russia.
"It is encouraging that Pakistan, Afghanistan relations are on an upward trajectory," PM Nawaz said.
Regarding the meeting between the government in Kabul and Afghan Taliban held in Murree on July 7, the two leaders expressed satisfaction on the progress made.
Lauding Pakistan's efforts in facilitating peace in Afghanistan, Ghani expressed hope that this move would lead to peace and stability in the country.
Read: Post-Murree meeting: Afghanistan calls Taliban talks successful
The two leaders further exchanged views on the efforts being made by the respective sides to counter terrorism and other critical matters.
During the meeting Premier Nawaz extended an invitation to Ghani to jointly inaugurate with him the Ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia process to be hosted by Pakistan in December 2015.
Along with other significant leaders, Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and advisor to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz were also present at the meeting.
On July 7, senior Afghan officials and Taliban representatives held face-to-face talks in Islamabad, marking the first round of serious negotiations brokered by Pakistan to strike an elusive peace deal aimed at bringing about an end to the more than decade-long conflict in Afghanistan.
Read: Modi accepts Nawaz’s invitation to visit Pakistan in 2016
The crucial talks — the first formal contact between the two sides since President Ashraf Ghani took charge in Afghanistan in September last year — took place at an undisclosed location in Pakistan’s federal capital.
Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai — the nephew of President Ghani’s predecessor Hamid Karzai — was said to be leading the government delegation in the talks which are being attended by all factions of the Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, a senior security official told The Express Tribune. Senior officials of Pakistan’s Foreign Office and security establishment also attended the first round of negotiations, he said.
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