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'We can allay each other’s concerns,' Afghan NSA tells Gen Bajwa

May 28, 2018

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Afghan NSA-led delegation meeting with COAS Bajwa.— Courtesy: ISPR
Afghan NSA-led delegation meeting with COAS Bajwa.— Courtesy: ISPR

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Sunday called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the bilateral relations and particularly the operationalisation of recently concluded Afghan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Stability (APAPPS), an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, issued on Sunday night, read.

The meeting happened hours after a final Constitutional prerequisite for the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) was fulfilled as KP Assembly validated the bill already passed by the National Assembly as well as the Senate.

The Afghanistan government had opposed the proposed merger of Fata with KP, the Foreign Office, however, had rejected the statement issued by the official Afghan press agency against the merger. "Our parliament’s decision reflects the will of the people of Pakistan. The principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the conduct of bilateral relations need be scrupulously adhered to by Afghanistan," read the FO statement.

Read: KP-Fata merger bill is another win for democracy

On Sunday, Afghan NSA Atmar said that Afghanistan has very positive expectations from Pakistan and with mutual help, "we can allay each other’s concerns" and apply our energies to bring about enduring peace and stability, the ISPR statement read.

According to the statement, the Afghan side was appreciative of Pakistan’s initiative in preparation of the framework document to improve cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

"The two sides agreed to fast-track the formulation of working groups, especially on bilateral security cooperation and to undertake measures that would assist both sides in the reduction of violence at the hands of terrorists," the statement read.

"We must begin with the trust that neither covets an inch of the other's territory nor is letting its land being used against the other," the COAS was quoted as saying.

"Suspicions will only fuel negativity and facilitate detractors," he added.

The Afghan delegation also extended an invitation on behalf of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the COAS for visiting Kabul, which he accepted.

The Afghan delegation comprised National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's premier spy agency, head Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal and other officials. The Pakistani side was also joined by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.