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ISLAMABAD: As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chairman of the Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah are scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden, on Friday, in the White House, Pakistan hoped that the US will continue its engagement and efforts for the success of the Afghan peace process.

Responding to media queries, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the visit by the Afghan leaders to Washington DC is a bilateral issue.

“However, I wish to reiterate our hope that the US will continue its engagement and efforts for the success of the Afghan Peace Process,” he said, adding that peace in Afghanistan remains a shared objective.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in his media talk, also referred to the Afghan president’s visit to the US without naming Ghani, and urged the Afghan leadership to have trust in Pakistan and its institution by coming out of the past mantra of the blame game.

“This time around, we have to be partners in peace…I’m saying this with sincerity, if you [Ashraf Ghani] are going to the US and repeat the same old manta in which we have been entangled since long, it would neither be beneficial for Afghanistan nor for the region,” Qureshi said, in a reference to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to the US.

In a statement on Sunday, the White House said that in the first face-to-face meeting, President Biden will seek to reassure Ghani and Abdullah of the US support for the Afghan people including diplomatic, economic and humanitarian assistance, besides reiterating his pledge to ensure that Afghanistan never becomes a safe haven for armed groups.

“The visit by President Ghani and Dr Abdullah will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues,” the White House added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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