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RAWALPINDI: Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta during a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters here on Thursday.—APP
RAWALPINDI: Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta during a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters here on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed on Thursday to form a working group on security to oversee their joint efforts against terrorism.

The on-again, off-again relationship between the two countries received a boost when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta agreed at a meeting to go after all terrorists without any discrimination.

“The main focus of talks was on strengthening bilateral security cooperation. Both sides agreed on the need to take action against all terrorists without making any distinction among them and their hideouts on their respective sides,” says a handout released by the foreign ministry.

Agreeing that terrorism was their common enemy the two sides stressed the need for working in close cooperation at the institutional level to deal with the menace.

Also read: Zarb-i-Azb is war of survival, says ISPR chief

The joint working group will be co-chaired by Pakistan’s foreign secretary and Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister and will have representatives from the security institutions concerned.

A second meeting has been scheduled for July 3 to fine-tune coordination.

Dr Spanta was accompanied by Janan Mosazai, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan; Atiqul­lah Hatifmal, Deputy Foreign Sec­retary; Maj Gen Asadullah Akram­yar of the Ministry of Defence and Hakimullah Hakmatullah Foush­a­n­ji, Director International Affairs.

During the meeting, Dr Spanta delivered a letter from President Hamid Karzai to the prime minister.

Both sides reiterated their resolve to strengthen their relations in a meaningful and result-oriented manner.

According to the handout, Dr Spanta also attended delegation-level talks with Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

They reaffirmed their commitment to building a comprehensive relationship based on enhanced trade and economic partnership.

The Pakistani side reiterated its full support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The two sides agreed to strengthen bilateral engagement at various levels for addressing each other’s concerns and pursuing the cause of peace and stability in the region.

Later, the Afghan delegation met Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

The leadership of the two countries have been in regular contact since Pakistan launched a military operation against militants in North Waziristan. The Afghan president called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on June 20 and the Afghan ambassador met Mr Sharif and Gen Raheel last week.

Also read: Pakistan urges Afghanistan to stop terrorists fleeing NWA

PBC DELEGATION: A delegation of the Pakistan Bar Council headed by its Vice-Chairman Ra­m­zan Chaudhry called on the prime minister. The meeting was attended by Minister for Infor­m­a­tion Senator Pervez Rashid, Minis­ter for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt.

Prime Minister Sharif highlighted the importance of bar councils in a democratic society and said revolution in the country would come only through elections and its future was associated with democracy.

A source in the PML-N told Dawn that following the arrival of Dr Tahirul Qadri in the country and rallies being held by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the government had decided to contact bar councils and other such associations to mobilise support for the government.

At the meeting, the prime minster highlighted the importance of operation Zarb-i-Azb and said the government entered the process of negotiations to resolve the issue but terrorists thwarted all its efforts. “Now the whole nation stands by the army and we will Insha’Allah come out victorious in this decisive battle against the terrorists.”

He said the nation should unite and help internally displaced persons. By eradicating the menace of terrorism Pakistan will be able to stand along with progressive nations.

About development projects and economy, he said: “We will successfully resolve the issue of loadshedding in our tenure. Our government has taken up unprecedented development projects which will help reduce poverty and create millions of jobs in the country”.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2014

Comments (14) Closed

Anup Jun 27, 2014 05:49am

Good beginning!!

Ashok R.Prabhu Jun 27, 2014 06:00am

Unless terrorism is completely wiped out from the soil of Pakistan,there is no peace in Pakistan.Remember the words of Madam Hillary Clinton: You cannot keep deadly snakes in your backyard and hope that they will only bite the neighbours.

Anjum Arshi Jun 27, 2014 06:09am

Why is the Army Chief doing the job of the Foreign Office?

Omar Jun 27, 2014 06:18am

This is a good thing. It would be nice if they can form a joint border patrol and eliminate the terrorist who have ruined life for those living on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Pakistan and Afghanistan Zindabad!

Akil Akhtar Jun 27, 2014 07:09am

Also the ones funded by India and Afghanistan?

Mustafa J. Jun 27, 2014 07:55am

Very positive step by Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring about peace in both countries.

Aj Jun 27, 2014 08:01am

Please we want to see some good news on this page.

bashar Jun 27, 2014 08:05am

@Akil Akhtar Are you kidding afghanisthan funding terrorists ?

ashraf Jun 27, 2014 08:18am

This is indeed a war of survival for both Afghanistan & Pakistan The realization is better late than never... I just hope they work sincerely and stop all blame games..

Last Word Jun 27, 2014 09:56am

Pakistan for its own interest should honour the commitments made to Afghanistan taking on all militant groups present in NW. Pakistan should necessarily refrain from playing any dual game as US surveillance satellites shall be monitoring the on-going operation in NW.

A Rehman Jun 27, 2014 10:11am

@Ashok R.Prabhu: MADAM Hillary was in India to sell her book only, dont be so emotional about her.

abdulaziz Jun 27, 2014 10:45am

This is not good news for Gen Hamid Gul and Dr. Zaid Hamid.

Kabir Hakim Jun 27, 2014 10:53am

It is an encouraging development hope Pakistan go after all terrorists organizations including Haqqani network, Quetta Shoora and other terrorists organizations engaged in insurrectionary activities in Afghanistan.

sandeep Jun 27, 2014 10:19pm

once a wise man said, holding resentment is like drinking poison. it is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.