Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to boost bilateral cooperation in diverse areas

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks here on Thursday with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, focusing on cementing bilateral relations in diverse areas particularly trade, security and people-to-people contacts.

Prime Minister Khan and President Ghani emphasized on the commonalities of religion, culture and history existing between the two neighboring countries.

President Ghani, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation including senior state officials and businessmen, arrived Thursday morning in Islamabad on a two-day visit to Pakistan at an invitation of Prime Minister Khan.

The visit also comes as efforts have intensified to reach a political settlement with the Taliban and end decades of war in Afghanistan, with Khan saying that Pakistan is always supportive of an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution to the conflict.

During the meeting, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said his country will continue to play its role for peace in Afghanistan with sincerity, good intentions and an open heart.

He added that the Afghan people have suffered a lot due to the instability prevailing in Afghanistan for decades. Pakistan has always emphasized on result-oriented talks believing that this is the only way to establish durable peace in Afghanistan, Qureshi said, expressing confidence that the Afghan president's visit to Pakistan will bring the two countries closer and strengthen bilateral relations.

The two sides agreed to implement the already decided strategy of peace and brotherhood for the betterment and welfare of the peoples of the two countries, according to a statement by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They also exchanged views to enhance bilateral economy, trade and investment as well as promoting cooperation in communications, energy, culture and people to people contacts, added the statement.

During the visit, President Ghani is scheduled to travel to Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, where he will participate in a business forum to be attended by business representatives from both countries.

Source: International Islamic News Agency