Pakistan is making sincere efforts for the restoration of peace in Afghanistan, Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said during a media briefing in Kabul on Sunday.
Aziz, who flew to Afghanistan to meet Afghan foreign minister, said that the new Pakistani government wanted to broaden bilateral economic ties with Afghanistan.
Aziz said Pakistan had helped persuade some Taliban factions to discuss peace in the past, and also had played a role in helping Taliban representatives travel to Qatar before those efforts stalled.
”In the future, to the extent we are requested, we can play the same role but at the appropriate time and in consultation with other interested parties,” Aziz said.
“Pakistan will extend every possible help to restore peace in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that he came to Kabul with a message of peace and cooperation. “Peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interests of Pakistan.”
He continued that trade increase would benefit the economy and people of two countries.
He said Pakistan had been trying to help jumpstart the peace process as a stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s own interest. However‚ he said any peace talks must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. He said Pakistan would take every step to bring peace in Afghanistan.
Aziz said the PML-N government wanted to expand relations with Afghanistan.
He added that Pakistan wanted to remove all barriers in the way of trade between both countries.
Efforts at reviving the stalled Afghan-led reconciliation bid, overcoming the lingering trust deficit between the estranged neighbours and removing longstanding trade barriers figured prominently at the meetings.
Sartaj Aziz assured his interlocutor of Pakistan’s sincerity of intent in promoting peace in Afghanistan and the region at large, besides highlighting the imperative of a joint campaign against the twin scourge of extremism and terrorism, a source in the Pakistani Foreign Ministry disclosed.
“Obviously, he will also underline the need for putting the Doha process back on track, as well as an end to frequent testy exchanges between the neighbours over the Afghan-managed reconciliation effort,” he said.