Pakistan has pressed Afghanistan on tackling recent increase in cross-border terrorism apart from focusing on issues and policies which were putting Kabul at odds with the international community.
This was stressed as Pakistan sent Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar for talks with her Afghan counterpart on Tuesday.
She met with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, Minister for Mines and Petroleum Shahabuddin Delawar, and Commerce Minister of Afghan Interim Government, Haji Nooruddin Azizi.
Recalling the immutable bonds of geography, history, culture and language that Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy, Islamabad and Kabul agreed on the significance of sustained bilateral political dialogue and the vital role of institutional mechanisms to advance the myriad tracks of Pak-Afghan relations.
The two sides also emphasized the importance Afghanistan played as a land bridge between Central Asia and South Asia and its pivotal role in promoting regional connectivity including through transportation links and mega energy projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and the Central Asia-South Asia project (CASA-1000).
Bilateral issues of common interest including cooperation in education, health, agriculture, trade and investment, regional connectivity, people-to-people contacts and socioeconomic projects were discussed.
Khar reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous and connected Afghanistan.
She reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to further deepen and strengthen multifaceted ties between the two countries and build an enduring partnership for shared prosperity.
The minister underscored the imperatives for the international community to practically engage with the Afghan government and to help Afghanistan address the dire humanitarian situation and the challenges of reconstruction and socioeconomic development.
She stressed that unfreezing of Afghanistan’s financial assets could help in this regard.
The two sides discussed matters related to enhanced regional security with mutual cooperation, including in countering terrorism, and issues and policies which would impact the Afghan government’s engagement with the international community.
She also met with representatives of the Women Chamber of Commerce and stressed to Afghan counterparts the importance of women in the Afghan society and expressed Pakistan’s keen desire to strengthen linkages between women entrepreneurs of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
She announced that Pakistan would give special preference to import of products produced by businesses run by Afghan women.