President Ghani and the Pakistani prime minister on Friday agreed to a number of principles to help bring peace to Afghanistan.
Ghani, Abbasi Agree To 7 Key Principles For Action Plan
President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held talks in Kabul on Friday where they agreed to seven key principles to finalize Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).
The two leaders agreed to the following:
1. Pakistan to support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation,
2. The two countries to undertake effective action against fugitives and irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries,
3. Both countries commit to deny use of their respective territories by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country,
4. To put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism through Liaison Officers (LOs) for the realization of the agreed actions.
5. The two countries commit to avoid territorial and aerial violations of each other’s territory,
6. The two countries to avoid public blame games and instead use APAPPS cooperation mechanisms to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns, and
7. Establish Working Groups and necessary cooperation mechanisms as per APAPPS for full implementation of the APAPPS and the above, mutually reinforcing principles.
The two leaders met on Friday at the Presidential Palace and discussed relations between the two countries, the fight against terrorism, regional connection, Afghan-led peace talks, violations along the Durand Line, return of Afghan refugees, construction of railroad projects, prisoner exchange programs and the APAPPS, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
In a meeting between delegations of the two countries, Ghani discussed the violations along the Durand Line with the Pakistani prime minister.
The Afghan president reiterated that the current situation does not benefit anyone and that any concerns in this respect should be addressed through talks.
The statement said the two sides discussed Pakistan’s connection to Central Asia, energy transition, Quetta-Kandahar-Herat and Peshawar-Jalalabad railroad projects and construction of Peshawar-Jalalabad highway.
In this meeting, the two sides agreed that delegations of Afghanistan and Pakistan will prepare a timeline and mechanism for the return of Afghan refugees to the country.
In a statement issued by the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul, Islamabad said Abbasi had been accompanied by Pakistan's foreign minister, interior minister, and National Security Adviser.
The statement said Ghani and Abbasi held a one on one meeting followed by delegation level talks at the Presidential Palace.
According to the statement, Ghani and Abbasi discussed a range of issues relating to Afghanistan-Pakistan relations including peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, return of Afghan refugees, bilateral trade and regional connectivity.
The two leaders agreed that the APAPPS would provide a useful framework for broad based and structured engagement on all issues of mutual interest and decided to operationalize the five working groups under APAPPS.
Pakistan said Abbasi welcomed Ghani’s vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to the Taliban.
"Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward," read the statement.
"The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat. They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other."
Both leaders agreed that peace, prosperity and stability of the two countries are interlinked and they reaffirmed their resolve to work together to address all issues of bilateral and transit trade. They also expressed their firm resolve not to allow politics to affect their economic relationship which was important for the welfare of the peoples of the two countries.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to regional connectivity as they had done in Herat on 23rd February 2018 while jointly inaugurating the entry of TAPI Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan.
They also agreed to hold an early meeting of the Joint Economic Commission to take forward planning and implementation of key rail road gas pipeline and energy projects that would integrate Pakistan and Afghanistan with Central Asia.
According to the statement, Ghani and Abbasi also agreed to move forward on Chaman-Kandahar-Herat railway line, Peshawar-Kabul Motorway, and other connectivity projects which can help realize the tremendous potential of South and Central Asian Regions by providing shortest access through the sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi. They emphasized early completion of TAPI and CASA-1000 projects.
Abbasi also met with CEO Abdullah Abdullah. The two leaders discussed a range of bilateral matters and agreed on regular leadership contact.
Abbasi also announced a gift of 40,000 tons of wheat for the Afghan people and announced a waiver of additional regulatory duty on Afghan exports to Pakistan in order to help improve the Afghan economy.
"The two sides also agreed to initiate discussions on consular matters and exchange of civilian prisoners," the statement read.
Ghani and Abbasi reaffirmed their resolve to build trust and confidence between the two countries by working closely for peace, prosperity and stability in their countries. The two leaders agreed to continue the exchange of high level visits.
Abbasi also extended invitations to Ghani and Abdullah to visit Islamabad at their earliest convenience.
Abbasi also met with other senior Afghan political leaders including Gulbadin Hekmatyar, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Mohammad Karim Khalili, and Sayed Hamed Gailani, to convey the support of the government and people of Pakistan to all ethnic groups in Afghanistan and to underscore Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan's statement read.