ISLAMABAD: The new Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral engagement framework — Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) — became operational on Monday with both sides hoping that its implementation would contribute to promoting peace in the region.

“Both sides agreed that effective and full implementation of APAPPS would contribute towards the common objectives of eliminating terrorism and achieving peace, stability, prosperity and development of the people of the two countries,” a statement jointly issued by the foreign ministries of Pakistan and Afghanistan said.

Earlier, the Foreign Office hosted a meeting of APAPPS. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua led the Pakistani side at the meeting, whereas Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai headed the Afghan delegation. It was the fourth meeting of APAPPS.

The two sides had consumed the earlier three rounds negotiating the contours of the framework, but an agreement remained elusive till Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Kabul last month and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Islamabad, Kabul hope the action plan will contribute to promoting peace in region

The two leaders had on that occasion agreed on the new framework and tasked their foreign ministers and national security advisers with concluding the agreement.

The seven principles agreed between Pakistan and Afghanistan for the new framework for engagement included commitments that Pakistan would support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation; the two countries would undertake effective actions against fugitives and the irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries; both countries would deny use of their respective territory by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country; they would put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism through liaison officers for realisation of the agreed actions; territorial and aerial violations of each other’s territory would be avoided; there would be no public blame game and instead APAPPS cooperation mechanisms would be utilised to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns; and working groups and necessary cooperation mechanism would be set up as per APAPPS.

Both sides have operationalised six working groups, including the ones on security and intelligence cooperation.

APAPPS is a Pakistani initiative for cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, refugees’ repatriation and joint economic development. The plan enjoys the backing of both China and the United States.

“APAPPS provides a framework to strengthen mutual trust and deepen interaction in all spheres of bilateral engagements. It is also a mechanism for finding solutions to bilateral areas of concern,” the joint statement issued by Islamabad and Kabul said.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2018

Opinion

Missing I.A. Rehman’s wisdom
18 Apr 2021

Missing I.A. Rehman’s wisdom

Does the state of Pakistan, all institutions included, have the political will to address the runaway intolerance in society and
Ostrich approach
18 Apr 2021

Ostrich approach

The logic of blocking social media to contain protests is flawed.
Wings of mediation
18 Apr 2021

Wings of mediation

ADR benefits could ensure the expeditious settlement of tax disputes.
Banning Mr Rizvi
17 Apr 2021

Banning Mr Rizvi

Sooner than later, fanatics start to pull their own strings.

Editorial

18 Apr 2021

More cabinet changes

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has reshuffled his cabinet yet again in what is obviously another attempt to shore up his...
Blocking social media
Updated 18 Apr 2021

Blocking social media

FOR four hours this week, all social media platforms in the country were shut down, a measure the government said ...
18 Apr 2021

Peasant rights in Sindh

IN a seminar held in Nawabshah recently, the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Hari Welfare Association reiterated a...
17 Apr 2021

Pak-India mediation

QUESTIONS had been swirling about what and who has prompted the latest detente between Pakistan and India. Now, it...
17 Apr 2021

Energy exploration

SOME exploration and production companies want the government to prioritise offshore exploration — a high-risk...
17 Apr 2021

Professor’s removal

IN a step that will go far in sending a message of reassurance to female students and academic staff in ...