ISLAMABAD: The Afghan amba­ssador on Friday asked Pakistani authorities to extend “full cooperation” for peace in Afghanistan under commitments given to Kabul.

Afghan Ambassador Dr Omar Zakhilwal conveyed this message to Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during a meeting at the General Headquarters amidst escalating violence in Afghanistan.

Relations between the two countries had till recently been on a positive trajectory.

The two neighbours also signed a new bilateral ties’ framework — called the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) — under which they agreed to discuss political and diplomatic issues and matters pertaining to economy and trade, refugee repatriation, military and intelligence cooperation.

“This afternoon called on Pak Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa discussing regular as well as some important current issues including need for full cooperation as per APAPPS and other bilateral commitments which in turn help with our peace efforts and reduction of violence,” Ambassador Zakhilwal tweeted after his meeting.

Mr Zakhilwal, a diplomatic source claimed, carried an important message from the Afghan government. The ambassador was in Kabul till yesterday.

Ambassador Zakhilwal had in a conference hosted by the Jinnah Institute last month sounded very positive about APAPPS and said that irritants and acrimony in Pak-Afghan relations had reduced and better cooperation between the two sides was being observed.

Similarly, the corps commanders conference of the Pakistan Army held earlier this month too had appreciated the progress being made on bilateral front with Afghanistan under APAPPS. The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) had on that occasion in its statement noted that: “Forum expressed satisfaction on progress of military level engagements with Afghanistan for regional peace especially through Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace & Stability (APAPPS).”

On Friday, the ISPR did not issue a statement on Gen Bajwa’s meeting with the Afghan envoy.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2018