ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said Pakistan was not affiliated with any particular group when it came to Afghanistan, adding that the country would hold talks with any group when it came to working for peace in the region and that it stood for a united Afghanistan.
The premier made the above remarks during a visit to the Foreign Office, directing it to work on improving Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring states and hours before his foreign affairs and national security advisor is scheduled to travel to the war-torn country.
The prime minister apprised the foreign office of his vision pertaining to Pakistan's foreign policy and further directed the foreign office to work towards promoting economic diplomacy.
During the visit, Prime Minister Sharif was briefed by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on the country's foreign policy from varying approaches and in the contexts of developing regional and international scenarios.
Jilani gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the situation in Afghanistan, upon which the premier said Pakistan was not allied with any particular group in the neighbouring country and was willing to work for peace with any group.
Pakistan supports a united Afghanistan, the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Sharif added that he was sending Sartaj Aziz, his advisor on foreign affairs and national security, to Afghanistan with this clear message to the Afghan leadership.
Aziz will be travelling to Afghanistan on Sunday. It will be premature to say how the ice-breaking trip will go, but Afghans, diplomatic sources revealed, had not been too keen about the visit said to have been pushed by Western leaders.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are having a protracted bad patch in their ties, which is affecting the reconciliation process.
Aziz intends to address some of the concerns of the estranged Afghan leadership and persuade them to work with Pakistan for taking the peace process forward.