Pakistan has stressed on the need to forge close ties with Afghanistan and assist in economic development of the country at a time when the international community is pulling out.
Addressing a conference at the National Defense University, Islamabad on Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan wants to adopt a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal matters.
Mr.Aziz warned against repeating “the mistakes of the past” at a time when the “precious moment of hope and optimism in Afghanistan must be defended,” according to reports.
He said the role of international community in Afghanistan is important as “another abandonment of Afghanistan would lead to a repeat of the 1990s.”
He said the national unity government in Kabul headed by President Ashraf Ghani should be given economic support by the international community, adding that the PM Sharif’s foreign policy is guided by the idea of “peace and development”.
Mr. Aziz, however, expressed concern that Afghanistan might be used to wage a proxy warby neighboring countries, especially India, after the drawdown of U.S-led allied forces.
Sartaj Aziz expressed concern that Afghanistan might be used to wage a proxy war by neighboring countries, especially India, after the drawdown of U.S-led allied forces
While the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have shown signs of improvement in past few months, the ties between India and Pakistan continue to be marked by mistrust and hostility.
Mr. Aziz blamed India for not reciprocating to peace overtures made by Pakistan, shifting the blame to Modi government for cancellation of Foreign Secretary level talks.
Meanwhile, since the establishment of new government in Kabul, Afghanistan and Pakistan have started the process of political engagement and reconciliation.
President Ghani has repeatedly stated that peace in Afghanistan is not possible without the support and cooperation of Afghanistan. During his visit to Islamabad late last year, he sought the cooperation of Pakistani government in combating terrorism and facilitating peace in the region.
President Ghani, during his talk at the Chatham House London last month, reiterated that Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing a historic choice together.
“Do we become the cul de sac that stops Asia's economic integration, or do we become the lynchpin of this economic integration? We are vital to each other,” said President Ghani.
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