PM: (Pakistan, Afghanistan vow to eradicate terrorism)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to work together to stamp out terrorism to ensure peace and stability in the region.

This was stated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Afghan and President Ashraf Ghani at a joint news conference in Kabul on Tuesday. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that Pakistan and Afghanistan will succeed in rooting out terrorism through their firm determination and by adopting a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.

He said Pakistan has the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He said we stand in strong solidarity with Afghanistan. He assured Afghanistan that its enemies cannot be friends of Pakistan.

He said both sides agreed to continue their relations by following the principle of non-interference and not allowing their respective territories to be used against each other. Nawaz Sharif said the two sides also agreed to the point that enemy of one country will be treated as enemy of the two countries.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and assured the Afghan President of making all possible efforts in this regard. He said Pakistan strongly condemns increase in violence and Operation Azm offensive by Afghan Taliban.

The Prime Minister said in case of terrorist activity, both Pakistan and Afghanistan retain the right of counter actions in conjunction. Capacity building of Afghan police will be done as already offered including training. He said coordinated operations would be planned and conducted on mutually agreed basis to target militant hideouts along the border.

Nawaz Sharif said during talks the two sides discussed ways of realizing the full potential of their well endowed reservoir of human and material resources. These include expanding trade, increasing investments, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links and enhancing energy collaboration.

He underlined Pakistan’s resolve to further deepen defence and security partnership with Afghanistan. He said he assured the Afghan President of Pakistan’s continued engagement with regional and international processes in support of Afghanistan.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing similar threats and will have to fight them out jointly. He said enemy of Pakistan is enemy of Afghanistan. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also held talks with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul.

They discussed different aspects of bilateral relations and regional situation. Delegation level talks were also held between Pakistan and Afghanistan at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani lead their delegations at the parlays. During the visit, the Prime Minister was accompanied by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz; Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatimi and Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

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