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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Tuesday, reiterated Pakistan's desire for an all-inclusive settlement in Afghanistan and reassured the country's support towards that end, "which is vital for regional peace and prosperity".

Both the prime minister and the army chief were speaking to a visiting eight-member Afghan delegation from northern Afghanistan, which met them separately to exchange views on the latest situation in Afghanistan in the wake of President Ashraf Ghani's escape from the country and Taliban taking over control of Afghanistan.

According to a statement of the PM House, Prime Minister Khan, in his meeting with the Afghan delegation, underscored the importance of all Afghan sides working to secure an inclusive political solution, as he expressed strong support and solidarity for the fraternal people of Afghanistan.

The prime minister underlined the fact that no other country is more desirous of peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan.

"In the current situation, great responsibility rested on the Afghan leaders to work constructively together to lead Afghanistan on the path of sustainable peace, stability and development," the prime minister was quoted as telling the Afghan delegation.

It added that the prime minister underscored the importance of all sides working to secure an inclusive political solution.

Reaffirming Pakistan's commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, Prime Minister Khan assured of Pakistan's steadfast support for efforts in this direction.

"The delegation members thanked the prime minister for receiving them and appreciated Pakistan's support for the peace efforts. They emphasized the multi-ethnic nature of Afghan society and the importance of an inclusive dispensation," the statement stated, adding that the Afghan delegation also reiterated the desire to further strengthen the brotherly relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Important to closely coordinate next steps: FM tells Afghan delegation

Meanwhile, according to a statement of the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), the Afghan delegation met General Qamar Javed Bajwa and held a detailed discussion about the current situation in Afghanistan.

It stated that the army chief told the Afghan delegation that Pakistan desires broad-based relations with Afghanistan and is willing to do everything possible to help Afghanistan achieve an all-inclusive settlement, which is vital for regional peace and prosperity.

He also reiterated that Pakistan stands with the people of Afghanistan.

"The Afghan delegation acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army's sacrifices, untiring efforts and contributions for peace, stability and socio-economic development of Afghanistan. The delegation also expressed their views regarding way-forward for Afghanistan," the statement added.

The Afghan delegation, comprising Speaker Welosi Jirga Mir Rehman Rehmani, former foreign minister Salah-ud-Din Rabbani, Tajik leader and former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan leader Ustad Mohammad Karim Khalili, two sons of former Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Massoud - Ahmad Zia Massoud and Ahmad WaliMassoud - chairman of the People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan Mohammad Mohaqiq, Leader of National Congress Party of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Pedram, and the member of Kabul administration's negotiating team and the country's youngest parliamentarian Khalid Noor, is visiting Pakistan from August 15-18.

The purpose of the visit of the delegation, which according to sources, was scheduled prior to Taliban's taking control of Kabul, aimed at exchanging views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan with civil and military leadership of Pakistan and seeking the country's support for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan, representing all the ethnic groups.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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