Mohammad Karim Khalili, Chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council and representative of the Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami (Afghan Unity Party), met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), in separate meetings on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process.
According to a Radio Pakistan article, Khalili, who arrived in Pakistan for a three-day visit on Monday, met with the prime minister in Islamabad and shared views on the Afghan peace process and relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Imran stressed his position that there was “no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward”
“The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to the Afghan peace process and underscored that the intra-Afghan negotiations must be pursued with perseverance and patience for an inclusive and broad-based solution,” the report said.
Pakistan’s commitment to improving bilateral relations with Afghanistan, including trade and economic links and people-to-people ties, was also expressed by the premier.
Meeting with COAS
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) military media wing, the representative of the AUP called on the army chief at the Rawalpindi General Headquarters.
The ISPR said in a statement: “Matters of mutual interest, peace and stability in the region, connectivity and current developments in Afghan peace process were discussed during the meeting,”
Gen Bajwa claimed during the meeting that stability in Afghanistan was related to peace in Pakistan. The statement quoted the COAS as saying, “A stable and prosperous Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbours is in Pakistan’s national interest,”
Meeting with FM
Together with a delegation, Khalili met with Foreign Minister Qureshi earlier today to discuss ties between the two countries and progress achieved in the Afghan peace process.
“During the meeting, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace in the neighbouring country, saying that “Pakistan was the most peace-seeking country in Afghanistan after the Afghans.
“Pakistan [has] always emphasised that there was no military solution of the Afghan conflict and that a negotiated political settlement was the only way forward,” he added.
According to a Foreign Office release, the minister “stressed the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process”
Qureshi told the visiting delegation that Pakistan would continue to promote the peace process in Afghanistan, warning at the same time of the ‘spoilers’ who he said in the war-torn world did not want peace.
He also echoed Pakistan’s request to all parties to take steps to mitigate aggression, potentially leading to a truce.
Through the intra-Afghan talks, Qureshi said, the Afghan leadership should seize the “historic opportunity” to create peace in the region.
In the meeting with the Foreign Minister, bilateral relations were also addressed, highlighting “steps taken by Pakistan to strengthen bilateral and transit trade and introduction of revised visa policy to facilitate Afghan nationals”
Foreign Minister Qureshi also shared the expectation that the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan would provide a strong incentive for economic growth, regional integration and connectivity, which would favour Afghanistan and the region.
[He] also reiterated the contribution of Pakistan to the peaceful and dignified return of Afghan refugees to their homeland,”[He] also emphasised Pakistan’s commitment to safe and dignified return of Afghan refugees to their homeland,”
In addition, the statement said that Khalili thanked Pakistan for its “consistent support” through its peace process efforts, as well as for “hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the last many decades”
He also “appreciated the various steps taken by Pakistan to strengthen trade between the two countries and facilitate Afghan nationals through revised visa policy”