PM Nawaz discusses bilateral ties with Afghan leadership

KABUL: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on Tuesday and discussed bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The meetings were attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, followed by delegation level talks between officials and diplomats of the two countries.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan face similar threats. Terrorism has hurt both countries. We will have to unite to face common threats,” said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

PM Sharif said that Afghanistan and Pakistan have always helped each other in difficult times.

“We are brothers and friends. The enemies of Afghanistan can never be Pakistan’s friends. I am hopeful that we will unite to eliminate terrorism,” he said.

The Pakistani premier said that regional peace and stability cannot be achieved without eradicating terrorism.

He said that neither country would allow their territories to be used against each other, and vowed to act strictly against acts of terrorism from any extremist group.

This was the prime minister’s second visit to Afghanistan and the first after the installation of the elected government in Kabul. PM Sharif previously visited Afghanistan on 30 November, 2013.

Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, and other senior officials are accompanying the Pakistani leadership on the key visit.

Earlier, the prime minister was awarded a warm welcome at the Presidential Palace as he arrived in the Afghan capital along with Army chief General Raheel Sharif and high-ranking civil and military officials.

A smartly turned out contingent of the Afghan Army presented guard of honour to Prime Minister Sharif.

“The Prime Minister’s visit to Afghanistan would further strengthen the positive momentum in bilateral relations and help intensify common endeavors in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” said a Foreign Office statement issued Saturday evening.