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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday reaffirmed Pakistan's full support for the post-conflict Afghanistan on its path to reconstruction and economic development, saying Pakistan would support whatever the Afghans agreed upon about the future of their country.

The prime minister was speaking to the visiting High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan Chairman Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who called on him here at the PM House, according to a statement.

Extending a warm welcome, the prime minister conveyed his best wishes for the successful outcome of the Afghan peace process. He expressed the hope that Dr Abdullah Abdullah's visit would help open a new chapter in the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The prime minister reiterated his longstanding position that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and that a political solution was the only way forward. The prime minister expressed gratification that the international community had come to recognise this stance, and also acknowledged Pakistan's positive role in facilitation of the Afghan peace process.

The US-Taliban Peace Agreement was a major step forward in these endeavours. Commending the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on 12th September, the prime minister expressed the hope that Afghan leadership would seize this historic opportunity to work together constructively and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

The prime minister underscored that all Afghan parties must work for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire. The prime minister conveyed that Pakistan would support whatever the Afghans agreed upon about the future of Afghanistan.

He further reaffirmed Pakistan's full support for the post-conflict Afghanistan on its path to reconstruction and economic development.

In the bilateral context, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted that Pakistan and Afghanistan had immense trade complementarities, and emphasised the need to optimally utilise those capacities for mutually-beneficial trade and transit.

He assured that Pakistan would continue to undertake all efforts to facilitate Afghan transit trade and deepen bilateral trade and economic ties, and people-to-people exchanges with Afghanistan. The prime minister stated that he was looking forward to his visit to Afghanistan on the invitation of President Ashraf Ghani.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020