By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Leading a high-ranking delegation, the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan Chairman Dr. Abdullah Abdullah arrived in Islamabad on Monday and was welcomed by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the neighboring country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Upon his arrival, Dr Abdullah also planted a tree at the Foreign Office. Earlier yesterday, Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood and Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq received the Afghan delegation at the Nur Khan Airbase.
Dr. Abdullah is in Islamabad for a three-day trip, where he is expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi and the Pakistani leadership.
Calling on the Afghan leadership to make “serious efforts” to ensure that the Afghan Peace Process is taken to its logical conclusion, the Pakistani Foreign Minister said: “We respect Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. PM Imran Khan had constantly emphasized that Afghanistan’s problems cannot be solved through force alone.”
The Pakistani foreign minister said that the world has today acknowledged Pakistan’s stance on the problems faced by Afghanistan. “Pakistan supports a peaceful and lasting political solution for Afghanistan through acceptable dialogue,” said Qureshi.
He also told the visiting Afghan delegation that Pakistan will continue “playing a conciliatory role sincerely” in the Afghan peace process.
He added that Pakistan believes that peace in Afghanistan is essential for the development of the region and warned that Afghan leaders will have to focus on the “miscreants” who try to derail the Afghan peace process. He also urged the world to come forward for the peace and development of Afghanistan.
Qureshi, while bringing up the Afghan refugees present in Pakistan, said Pakistan wants the “dignified repatriation” of Afghans living in Pakistan.
During the meeting, Dr Abdullah appreciated Pakistan for its conciliatory efforts and thanked PM Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi for their role in the Afghan process.
In a tweet Dr. Abdullah said: “As always had a constructive meeting with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of I.R of Pakistan.
We discussed the Peace Process, the intra-Afghan talks in Doha, & strengthening bilateral relations. I would like to thank Qureshi for his warm welcome & hospitality.”
In a statement before his departure to Islamabad, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah hoped his visit will open a new chapter of mutual cooperation at all levels, especially on achieving a lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan.
“The visit will provide a unique opportunity for the two sides to exchange views on Afghanistan peace talks in Doha, & bilateral relations,” he posted on Twitter. Dr Abdullah is accompanied by a high-level delegation involving prominent members of the High Council for National Reconciliation.