Pakistani PM talks Taliban peace in Kabul

Nawaz Sharif has focused on Afghan peace talks as meet Ashraf Ghani, saying ' the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan'

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The direction of Afghan peace talks has dominated the conversation as Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief Raheel Sharif and the head of Pakistan's intelligence agency General Rizwan Akhtar visited Afghanistan.

Sharif met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on Tuesday. It has Pakistani PM's second visit to the country in his current tenure and followed an invitation from Ghani.

The leaders hold a press conference after the meeting, both condemning the attacks by the Afghan Taliban but also reassuring their commitments to the peace talks with the group.

The visit comes after 'unofficial' peace talks hosted in Qatar between the Afghan government and Taliban. Pakistani officials said the leaders talked ways to step up cooperation between the two neighbors in the battle against militants on both sides of the border, as well as common issues of peace and development. The outcome of the recent meeting in Doha was also discussed, according to the sources.

“Any effort by any militant or group to destabilise Afghanistan will be dealt with severely and such elements will be outlawed and hunted down" Sharif told reporters during the press conference, adding Pakistan had the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

"I assure you that the enemies of Afghanistan cannot be friends of Pakistan ... We both recognise that an enduring peace in Afghanistan will be a distant dream without an inclusive intra-Afghan reconciliation,” he said.

Pakistani PM also repeated his country's full support for "peace and reconciliation process."

Two neighbors have strained relations but has begun to ease since Ghani took office in September with a campaign to reshape Afghanistan's foreign policy.

Ghani has also been pushing hard for a peace process, lobbying regional players such as Pakistan, China and other countries to help persuade the Taliban leaders to join peace talks.

China has become a major player in the process of forging peace in Afghanistan as Beijing hopes to expand its capacity as a regional leader. The Afghan Taliban delegation visited Beijing twice last year, weeks after Afghan President Ghani’s visit to China, his first official trip abroad.

TRTWorld and agencies