Pakistan reiterates support to Afghan peace process

By: Lailuma Noori

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his speech at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Thursday said that there were strong interdependencies between Taliban and Pakistan.
In the session attended also by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmoud Quraishi, President Ghani stressed that interdependencies between the Taliban and Pakistan should be clarified.
“The strategy of persuasion allows us to develop a good strategy. In this part, Pakistan has an important role and that there are strong interdependencies between Taliban and Pakistan. We need to recognize this and arrive it programmatic approaches to move from conflict to cooperation,” President Ghani said.
President Ghani stressed the need for giving up the “bad strategy” which he believes is the repeating of past mistakes in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  
Ghani said he is in Pakistan as the representative of the sovereign state of Afghanistan to seek a relation of equality and cooperation between two sovereign states.
“Our stability and our prosperity are linked in related to mutual respect for our sovereignties,” President Ghani said. “Today, we are in a strategic moment – a moment where we can use history by overcoming the past.”
During his two-day official visit to Pakistan, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also met with Pakistan President Arif Alvi. Both discussed regional stability, security, economic development, counter poverty and mutual respect to national sovereignty of both countries.
His visit to Pakistan comes at a time when relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been deteriorated recently. Afghanistan government has repeatedly declared that the country is providing the Taliban group with financial and military support, saying that Islamabad has provided safe havens to leaders of the Taliban group and other terrorist groups fighting against Afghanistan government.
Some months ago, Taliban declared that the group would visit Pakistan to meet the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and US delegation led by Zalmay Khalilzad. In reaction to the Taliban’s visit to Islamabad, Afghanistan government filed an official complaint, which resulted in cancelation of the Taliban’s visit to the country.
Recently, Pakistan has pledged to help Afghanistan in ongoing peace process as change is seen in vision and policy of Pakistan, the world and region. This change has resulted in facilitation for an official visit of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad to have constructive discussions with leaders of Pakistan.
Besides discussion regarding to trade, the key issue discussed between leaders of the two countries was security and Afghanistan peace process. Previously, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had stressed on the key issue as stability in the region can bring economic development to the region.
State to state relations can open a new chapter in relations between the two countries, but if interests of countries are sought through proxy wars, undoubtedly it will be impossible to reach the principal goal which lasting peace and stability in the region.
Afghanistan has already shown in action that it wants good relations with neighboring countries and has a clear vision and policy in this regard. Pakistan like other countries of the world can play its historic and positive role in maintaining peace and stability in the region as peace is in the interest of the people of both countries, the region and world.

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