Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Pakistan Army, ISI Chief Meet Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani For Intra-Afghan Dialogue

Pakistan Army and ISI chief met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah during his visit to Kabul and discuss the Intra-Afghan dialogue which is expected to commence by the end of the month.

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Pakistan Army Chief – General Bajwa was accompanied by DG- ISI General Faiz Hameed and Pakistan’s special envoy on Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq.

Both the parties, Afghanistan and Pakistan discussed “current developments in the Afghan peace process and essential measures to be initiated to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process”, the ISPR said in a statement.

On its official Twitter account, the Pakistan embassy in Kabul released a picture of General Bajwa and Ghani at the presidential palace.

The visit by General Bajwa and ISI chief – who are often blamed for supporting the Taliban, is the first visit to Kabul by high-ranking Pakistani officials since Ghani’s second term in office.

The meeting between Afghanistan and Pakistan’ leadership comes ahead of the forthcoming intra-Afghan dialogue and only two days after Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with General Bajwa.

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According to ISPR tweet – Both sides discussed current developments in the Afghan Peace Process, necessary steps to facilitate Afghan-led and owned peace process & facilitation of trade and connectivity. Both sides agreed dignified & time-bound return of Afghan Refugees from Pakistan is key towards normalcy.

Afghanistan President expressed appreciation for the PM of Pak for opening Torkham & Chaman border, allowing Afghan transit goods & facilitating stranded Afghanistanreturn to Afghanistan by land & air routes. President was appreciative of the role being played by Pakistan for Afghanistan Peace Process.

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Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Presidential Palace said President Ghani and Gen Bajwa discussed Pakistan’s support for the peace process, and also discussed how “the soil of either country should not be used against the other”.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah tweeted: Welcoming Pakistan’s CoAS, Gen. Qamar J. Bajwa to SapedarPalace, we held productive talks & stressed on the unique opportunity to further the cause of peace in AFG & stability in the region as the HCNR & Afghan leaders take necessary steps toward intra-Afghan negotiations. 

Abdullah further tweeted: Gen. Bajwa expressed Pakistan’s support for our efforts & earliest possible start of I/A talks. I told him that we are ready to engage with the Taliban on our common issues to end conflict & live together in peace. I reiterated on Pakistan’s constructive role in this regard.

Earlier, Zalmay Khalilzad met General Bajwa and DG ISI Lt-Gen Faiz Hameedin Islamabad. Khalilzad also met with a Taliban delegation in Qatar to fasten the intra-Afghan dialogue which is expected to take place by the end of this month.

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