Islamabad, Kabul reiterate commitment to peace, stability
WASHINGTON: US Vice President Mike Pence told Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that Pakistan “must do more” against the Taliban and other militants, the White House said on Saturday.
Vice President Mike Pence met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan on Friday, March 16, to discuss the Administration’s South Asia strategy.
“Vice President Pence reiterated President Donald Trump’s request that the Government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country,” the White House said in a statement on the Friday call.
“Pakistan could and should work closer with the United States,” Pence said.
The Vice President stated that US efforts to eliminate terrorist groups who threaten US security and the stability of the region will continue and noted that Pakistan could and should work closer with the United States.
On Sunday, Pakistan and Afghanistan have reiterated their commitment to peace and stability of each other and agreed to work in a cooperative framework for a brighter future and expressed resolve to work together and enhance cooperation to improve bilateral relations.
“It’s time to build bridges. We have a shared history and shared future. That is what our ancestors left for us and we have to leave for our children. We should work for our shared interests in all fields including political, economic and security. We must protect our relationship and advance it further,” said Haneef Atmar National Security Adviser (NSA) Afghanistan.
The commitment was made during the visit of National Security Adviser Lt.General (R) Nasser Khan Janjua during his visit to Afghanistan on Saturday on a special invitation from National Security Adviser (NSA) Afghanistan Haneef Atmar.
His visit was acknowledged by Afghanistan as a great gesture of Pakistan, particularly after the peace offer made by President Ashraf Ghani, said a news release.
During his visit, the NSA had elaborate and successful meetings with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, his counterpart Haneef Atmar, Minister of Defense and NDS Chief.
Meetings were held in a very congenial, warm and cordial environment.
President Ashraf Ghani associated strong hopes with Pakistan and said, “We have made a sincere and serious offer of peace and together we have to make the best of it by rising beyond past. Let’s not remain prisoners of past and lets secure our future with the aim, not to win the war but to end it for which Pakistan should help”.
He also expressed strong support for regional connectivity with Central Asian Republics (CARS) to reap the benefits of ideal geo-strategic locations of Afghanistan and Pakistan. ” Without each other, we are not complete,” he added.
He desired for a roadmap to be prepared for a comprehensive engagement with Pakistan to carry the relationship further with a leap of faith. Availing the opportunity, he also handed over the letter of invitation to NSA for the Prime Minister of Pakistan and expected him to visit as soon as possible.
The NSA thanked the President for extending an invitation to Prime Minister of Pakistan and also acknowledged the warmth, displayed for him and Pakistan and appreciated the peace offer made by the President.
He termed the peace offer as a light on the other side of the tunnel in a war which had become rather perpetual. Seeking the closure of conflict instead of winning it is a righteous approach, he added.
He expressed deep sympathies with people of Afghanistan who have seen nothing but war since last 40 years. He also expressed complete support for the peace offer which was long awaited.
“Use of force only injures people; wars are however, virtually won politically” he added. Assuring of Pakistan’s full support for the vision of peace, he, however, highlighted that isolated, blamed and coerced Pakistan is of lesser use to Afghanistan.
“The world has started to look at and undermine Pakistan through the prism of Afghanistan which is not correct. We need to commit to each other and invest in bilateral relationship and Afghanistan needs to stand with Pakistan and both need to win peace together. Our peace is mutual, let’s seek it together” he said.
The same sentiments were acknowledged and reciprocated by the Afghan Government.
They also agreed to seize this moment collectively and to improve bilateral relations in pursuit of the common objectives.
llars in aid over the last 15 years”.