Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to promote bilateral ties

Source: Published in Politics on Friday, November 14, 2014

Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in economic and trade relations for the benefit of the two countries, said a report published on Radio Pakistan-

The agreement came during a meeting between the visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad today.

Speaking on the occasion, Aziz said Pakistan accords great significance to its relations with Afghanistan.

He offered cooperation to Afghanistan in various sectors.

Ghani arrived in Islamabad on Friday for a two-day visit to the country.

He arrived at the Nur Khan airbase where he was received by Sartaj Aziz.

Ghani was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising senior leaders, cabinet ministers, high-ranking officials and business representatives.

Ghani to hold meetings with Mamnoon, Nawaz

Ghani is scheduled to hold a meeting with President Mamnoon Hussain today and another meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tomorrow.

Nawaz and Ghani are also expected to watch a cricket match between the two countries on Saturday in a public demonstration of better relations despite fraught cross-border tensions.

Pakistan is one of the first countries President Ghani, who was sworn in in September, has chosen to visit. He earlier toured Saudi Arabia and China.

Ghani’s visit is being regarded as a two-day fence-mending mission.

Its outcome would indicate how the relationship has transformed with the change in government in Kabul from one marred with deep distrust to a cautious desire for cooperation.

Islamabad’s relations with Kabul, which have historically been tense and complicated, plummeted to new lows over the past couple of years due to reignited border disputes, counter-terrorism differences and exchange of allegations. At the root of the tensions between the two countries are unfulfilled expectations on both sides.

The peaceful transition to the unity government in Afghanistan after the elections this year has provided the two countries a unique opportunity to move forward leaving behind the legacy of mutual distrust.

Pakistan took the first steps to rebuild the frayed ties by sending President Mamnoon Hussain to the oath-taking ceremony of President Ghani. This was followed by visits by Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif.

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