Thursday September 23, 2021

Peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan: Bajwa

January 13, 2021

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday said peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan as he met with Hizb-e-Wahadat Islami Afghanistan Chairman Karim Khalili.

The former chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council called on the Army chief at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on Tuesday. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa, speaking on the occasion, said: “Peace in Afghanistan means Peace in Pakistan”.

The Army chief added that a stable and prosperous Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbours was in Pakistan’s national interest.

Matters of mutual interest, peace and stability in the region, connectivity and current developments in the Afghan peace process were discussed during the meeting. The visiting dignitary appreciated the positive role played by Pakistan and the COAS vision on future of Pak-Afghan relations.

Earlier, Khalili called on foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who told him Pakistan would continue its reconciliatory efforts for peace in Afghanistan with a strong belief that there “is no military solution to the conflict”.

“A comprehensive political dialogue acceptable to the Afghan leadership is the only sustainable solution,” Qureshi said in a meeting with leader of Afghan Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Karim Khalili, here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visit of Karim Khalili, along with his delegation is part of Pakistan’s ongoing policy to reach out to political leadership in Afghanistan to forge common understanding on the peace process.

The foreign minister stressed that no other country desired peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan.

He termed as “welcoming” the progress made so far in the inter-Afghan talks and also lauded the launch of second round of inter-Afghan talks in Doha. He said the Afghan leadership had a rare opportunity to seize chance of peace in the region.

Qureshi said unfortunately, India was playing the role of spoiler in Afghanistan and mentioned that Pakistan had presented irrefutable evidence before the world in this regard. He said to facilitate the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan had introduced a new visa policy and was taking practical steps to promote bilateral trade.

He emphasised a speedy and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees currently residing in Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process was being acknowledged by the international community.

“We believe that peace and stability in the region is linked to lasting peace in Afghanistan”, he added.

Khalili thanked Qureshi for the warm welcome and appreciated Pakistan’s reconciliatory role in the Afghan peace process. He also expressed gratitude to the leadership and people of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for decades.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq and senior Foreign Ministry officials were present.