Pak assures support to Afghan Govt's reconciliation efforts with Taliban

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Islamabad, Jan 6(ANI): Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan has assured Pakistan's full support to the Afghan Government's reconciliation efforts with the Taliban to ensure lasting peace in the war-torn country.

Khan gave the assurance during a meeting on Wednesday with a 25-member delegation of the High Council for Peace in Afghanistan, led by its Chairman Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The delegation was originally scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, but he had to leave for Lahore to attend the funeral of late Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on Tuesday.

Talking to Professor Rabbani and members of his delegation, Khan said the relations between the Pakistan and Afghanistan had come a long way, especially in the last two years.

"There is complete harmony of views between the two countries. Ties are expanding in all areas for the mutual benefit of both countries. The implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement will bolster bilateral commercial ties," the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.

Khan underlined that the destinies of both countries were intertwined, and wished success to the High Peace Council in its efforts towards promoting peace in Afghanistan, assuring Pakistan's full support to Afghan-driven efforts in this regard.

Pakistan was actively participating in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan, said the minister, adding that the fact that Pakistan continued to host close to three million Afghan refugees was reflective of the historical ties and bonds of friendship that had existed between people of both countries for centuries.

Professor Rabbani, expressing strong sentiments of friendship and brotherhood towards Pakistan, said Afghanistan and Pakistan were brothers as well as neighbours.

Pakistan was the most important country for Afghanistan, and therefore, it was important that both countries continued to work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region, he added.

The two sides also agreed to reconvene a joint peace jirga as soon as possible, in a bid to bolster the ongoing peace process. (ANI)

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