Islamabad, May 12, 2015 (PPI-OT): I am delighted to visit Kabul and once again meet my very dear friends and brothers, His Excellency President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. I am gratified at the warm-hearted reception and generous hospitality that is so characteristic of the Afghan people.
It is always a pleasure to be in Afghanistan and among my Afghan brethren. Coming to Afghanistan is like coming to my second home. I have brought with me the most cordial greetings of the people of Pakistan for their Afghan brethren.
Afghanistan has a special place in our hearts. There are no other two countries that have so much in common. We are friends. We are brothers. We have stood shoulder to shoulder through every trial and tribulation. The fraternal ties between our two brotherly countries transcend the boundaries of time and space; reinforced by our common faith and cultural affinities.
Today, we had wide-ranging consultations on issues relating to the common challenges we face and the significant opportunities before us. We agreed that peace and stability in the region would remain elusive until the menace of terrorism afflicting the region is comprehensively addressed. I am confident that we will succeed in rooting-out this menace through our firm determination and by adopting a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.
Pakistan has the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We stand in strong solidarity with Afghanistan. I assure you that the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan. We both recognized that an enduring peace in Afghanistan will be a distant dream, without an inclusive intra-Afghan reconciliation.
I reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and assured the President of making all possible efforts in this regard. We strongly condemn increase in violence and Operation Azm offensive by Afghan Taliban.
Continuation of such offensive and attacks will be construed as terrorist acts and we condemn such attacks in strongest terms. All sanctuaries, when found, will be eliminated by direct action, and will be monitored by the existing mechanism.
Any effort by any militant or group to destabilize Afghanistan will be dealt with severely and such elements will be outlawed and hunted down. In case of terrorist activity, both Pakistan and Afghanistan retain the right of counter actions in conjunction. Capacity building of Afghan police will be done as already offered including training.
Coordinated operations will be planned and conducted on mutually agreed basis to target militant hideouts along the border. We agreed that our bilateral relationship will continue to be guided by the following three principles:
i. We will strictly adhere to the policy of non-interference;
ii. We will not allow our respective territories to be used against the other; and
iii. Afghanistan’s enemies will be treated as Pakistan’s enemies and Pakistan’s enemies will be treated as Afghanistan’s enemies.
We discussed ways of realizing the full potential of our well endowed reservoir of human and material resources, including through expanding trade, increasing investments, improving infrastructure, building road and rail links, and enhancing energy collaboration.
I stressed the need for fast-tracking progress on trans-regional energy projects to advance the goal of greater regional integration. I underlined Pakistan’s resolve to further deepen our defence and security partnership with Afghanistan, including through enhanced cooperation along the border and human resource development.
I assured the President of Pakistan’s continued engagement with regional and international processes in support of Afghanistan. As co-chair of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process during 2015, we would steer the process in line with the Afghan priorities and aspirations.
I conclude by reaffirming my commitment to continue to work with my brother President Ashraf Ghani, for prosperity and development of our two peoples and in advancing our shared objectives of peace and stability in the region.
Pak-Afghan Dosti Painda Bad.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan