Peace in Afghanistan key to regional stability: Ghani

PM was addressing International Counter Terrorism Forum in Islamabad

A statement issued by the Afghan presidential palace after the meeting said the two sides discussed counterterrorism, Afghan-led peace talks and border violations.

The Afghan president reiterated that the current situation didn't benefit anyone and that any concerns in that respect should have been addressed through talks.

The visit, aimed at reducing tensions between the two neighbouring countries and further strengthening the Afghan peace process, comes in the backdrop of allegations by authorities in Afghanistan.

The prime minister is flanked by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and other senior officials.

They have chose to operationalize the five working groups under "Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity".

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According to the statement, Prime Minister Abbasi welcomed President Ghani's vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to Taliban.

Accusations that Islamabad's powerful military and intelligence services have considerable influence over the Taliban make it unlikely that Afghanistan will have much success in pushing for Pakistan to boost security and counter-terrorism operations along their shared border. "They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other". They also discussed refugee and repatriations issues, the exchange of prisoners and finalization of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for peace and solidarity. The Prime Minister recently joined Afghan President in Herat to inaugurate the TAPI gas pipeline project.

To promote regional economic integration, the two countries are participating in key trans-regional initiatives - Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000).

The two sides conferred on initiating work on the Quetta-Kandahar and Peshawar-Jalalabad railway lines, as well as the Peshawar-Jalalabad-Kabul highway.

The prime minister also extended invitations to President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to visit Islamabad at their earliest convenience. The two leaders discussed a range of bilateral matters and agreed on regular leadership contact.

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