Pakistan committed to promoting peace in Afghanistan

Islamabad, Sep 4 (IANS) Pakistan on Friday said it is committed to promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan for the best interest of the two neighbouring countries as well as the region.

Pakistan fully supports Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said at his weekly news briefing here.

It is up to Afghanistan to take next step in this regard, and Pakistan remains ready to facilitate.

He said Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who is in Kabul to attend the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, will also have meetings with Afghanistan leadership. Matters of bilateral interest and concerns will be discussed in the meetings.

Khalilullah said Pakistan, at the meetings, will also raise its concerns relating to security of its embassy’s officials in the prevailing charged anti-Pakistan atmosphere in Afghanistan.

He will also stress the need to stop anti-Pakistan campaign that has been visible for sometime in Afghanistan as it would be counter-productive and will not serve the interests of the people of the two countries.

He said the Pakistani side will convey that it was committed to maintaining friendly, brotherly and good neighbourly relations with Afghanistan.

Pakistan had hosted the first ever face-to-face talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban near Islamabad on July 7.

The second round, scheduled to take place on July 31, was, however, postponed following the death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he will no more ask Pakistan to assist in the talks with the Taliban and his government will itself pursue the negotiations.

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