ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday underscored the importance of common endeavours by Pakistan and Afghanistan to address common challenges and root out the scourge of terrorism.
He was talking to the visiting Afghan Parliamentary delegation comprising members of the Meshrano Jirga (upper house) and Wolesi Jirga (lower house), which met him at the Foreign Office.
Sartaj Aziz noted that both sides had made the commitment not to allow their respective territories to be used against the other. In this context, he added that bilateral interaction between the security institutions had already intensified.
The adviser underlined the importance Pakistan attaches to a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan and a friendly and good-neighbourly relationship between the two countries.
He said that following the visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan, both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ghani had agreed on evolving and implementing a vision of a comprehensive and enduring partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan, contributing to the security and prosperity of the two countries and reinforcing efforts for peace and development in the region.
The adviser added that the visit of President Ghani in November had helped commence a historic new phase in the bilateral relations with a special focus on political engagement, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, deeper trade and economic foundation, and regional cooperation.
Aziz stressed that Pakistan stands in strong solidarity with people of Afghanistan as they pass through multiple transition, and would continue to extend all possible support in Afghanistan's quest for peace, stability and progress.
The top Pakistani diplomat also highlighted the significance of parliamentary exchanges for deepening the friendship between the two nations. He stressed the need for more frequent people-to-people exchanges including youth, business persons, media, cultural and professional groups.
The Afghan delegation expressed solidarity with Pakistan over the loss of innocent lives in the deadly Taliban attack on Peshawar school and highlighted the importance of joint efforts against the common threat of terrorism.
The Afghan delegation's visit is part of the regular parliamentarians' dialogue between the two countries. The delegation is jointly led by Senator Baz Mohammad Zurmati and MP Abdul Qader Zazai. Senator Afrasiab Khattak was also present during the meeting.