Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri

ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (APP): Pakistan on Sunday reiterated its firm commitment for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan as the peace process is making encouraging progress towards a political solution of the conflict.

“While Pakistan’s efforts are acknowledged and appreciated by the Afghan society and the international community, we are concerned about some negative comments which continue to emanate from certain official as well as unofficial Afghan circles,” Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

He said Pakistan would continue to emphasize the mutually agreed fundamental principle that all bilateral issues including security and intelligence matters should be addressed through relevant bilateral forums and channels.

The spokesperson said appropriate institutional forums were in place for such discourse in the relevant working groups of Afghanistan–Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).

In addition, during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Kabul in November 2020, the two sides had also agreed on further cementing their contacts on matters related to security and peace process.

The spokesperson stated that public blame game was detrimental to the Afghan peace process as well as to the shared efforts for enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Pakistan has continued to emphasize that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and solution of the conflict through a political process was the only way forward.

ALSO READ  An attractive and eye catching view of freeze snow covered Borith Lake, Borith Lake is a lake in Gojal, Hunza Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Borith is a hamlet in the surroundings of the Borith lake, which is a part of Ghulkin, Gojal, in the upper Hunza. Borith Lake approximately 2 km to the north of Ghulkin

Towards this end, he said Pakistan has been engaged in serious efforts to facilitate an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process.

During the current year, the spokesperson said Pakistan’s long-held position was vindicated and Pakistan’s serious efforts facilitated important breakthroughs in the peace process, including: U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement of 29 February; commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiations on 12 September; and agreement among Afghan parties on the Rules and Procedures on December 2.

The spokesperson said as the negotiations enter an important and critical phase from January 5, 2021, the negotiators would be focusing on the substantive issues relating to a comprehensive future political settlement.

“In this delicate phase of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations, it is important for the negotiating parties to avoid accusations and to demonstrate wisdom, sagacity and vision for the larger objective of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he added.

The Foreign Office spokesperson reiterated that Pakistan had also continued to express its deep concern at the increasing level of violence in Afghanistan during the current year. Prime Minister Imran Khan, on several occasions, has reiterated his calls for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire, he added.

ALSO READ  China pushes pharmaceutical companies to accelerate export of vaccine to Pakistan

He emphasized that it was important to underline the need for Afghan government to take pro-active measures to fulfill its responsibility for internal security, law and order and protection of Afghan lives.

“Pakistan stands ready to extend all possible cooperation in the area of security and effective border management through effective institutional collaboration,” he remarked.

He said recently, the two countries had witnessed positive trajectory in bilateral relations with significant progress on important bilateral matters including revision of Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and commencement of negotiations on PTA.

High level leadership contacts and bilateral visits including that of the prime minister of Pakistan were a manifestation of further strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.

The two sides must continue to build on the momentum and prevent domestic and regional detractors from their subversive designs.

He said Pakistan desired and continued to support a peaceful, stable, united, independent, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan.

“It is important that Afghans should seize this historic opportunity for reaching an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to bring an end to the decades-long internal conflict in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson added.