"Pakistan's position on Afghanistan is very clear: we want to see peace and stability in the country," said Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Saturday in response to Afghan president's message on normalisation of bilateral relations through talks.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace in Kabul after Eid prayers on Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had sent a message to Pakistan, saying Afghanistan was “ready for comprehensive political talks. Peace with Pakistan is in our national agenda”.
Asif, while speaking to the media about President Ghani's message, said that Pakistan will contribute and play its due role in all the initiatives taken to that end [bring peace to Afghanistan]. "We already have bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral and multilateral mechanisms for dialogue and interaction with Afghanistan in place — those mechanisms should be utilised to their full potential."
He added that both sides, during their recent interactions, recognized the need for cooperation on all fronts — political, military, and intelligence.
Relations between Islamabad and Kabul have mostly remained strained, except for a brief bonhomie at the start of President Ghani’s tenure in 2014. The two countries have a long-running border dispute, with Afghanistan refusing to accept the Durand Line as the international border.
Their armies skirmished because of border disputes and Afghanistan’s resistance to Pakistan’s attempts to fence the porous border for checking unauthorised crossings. Both sides have also squabbled over terrorist sanctuaries accusing each other of harbouring terrorists.
However, the two countries have lately, under the shadows of uncertainty caused by the United States, taken steps towards a possible rapprochement through talks. President Ghani’s statement on Friday confirms that normalisation efforts were making steady progress.
Pakistan has consistently supported a political settlement of the Afghan conflict.
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