ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday expressed disappointment over the “unhelpful statements” made by the Afghan leadership and termed it “complete disregard to the efforts that Pakistan has made for peace and stability in Afghanistan”.

Foreign Office’s statement was in response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s earlier call to involve India in transit trade with Afghanistan.

“We have noted with disappointment the unhelpful statements made by Afghan leadership in complete disregard to the efforts that Pakistan has made and continues to make for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told reporters in the federal capital.

“We remain committed to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan firmly believes that peace in Afghanistan was in its interest and necessary for stability and progress of the region.

“Our efforts for peace, stability and economic progress are a matter of our commitment to brotherly people of Afghanistan — millions of whom have been hosted in Pakistan for past 37 years,” he maintained.

Ghani, during a meeting with the UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins in Kabul last week, had threatened to block Pakistan’s trade access to Central Asian States (CAS) if it did not allow Afghanistan to trade with India through the Wagah border.

Read: India offers $1bn in fresh aid to Afghanistan

The foreign office spokesperson said that under a transit trade agreement between the two countries, Pakistan was extending all services for transit of Afghan exports and imports through Pakistan’s ports. “We have also been facilitating the transit of Afghan fruits to India through Wagah.”

Pakistan’s security forces were engaged in a “valiant fight against terrorism. Their efforts are making an immense contribution to securing the porous border to help bring lasting peace to Afghanistan, and the region”, said Zakaria.

But Pakistan remained concerned that “Afghan soil was being increasingly used by a ‘neighbour’ for subversive activities inside Pakistan and terror financing”, he added.

Read: Olson urges Pakistan to refocus on stopping cross-border attacks

Zakaria said it was important for both Pakistan and Afghanistan to closely work together for peace, progress and stability of the region.

“It requires a strong commitment for not letting our territories be used against each other. Pakistan is abiding by this solemn commitment,” he said.

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