Pakistan, Afghanistan wrap up talks on counter-terrorism

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday said that Pakistan and Afghanistan’s talks pertaining to counter-terrorism were fruitful while the Afghan Foreign Ministry expressed apprehensions over lack of progress over the issue.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal seemed upbeat at the discussions. “Pak-Afghanistan talks; two days of good discussions; some agreements; further work required,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

A statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry, however, said that “while some progress was made on the mechanism of cooperation, no progress was achieved on specific, results-oriented, time-bound measures, particularly in the areas of counter-terrorism, reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation to meet the priorities of Afghanistan”.

The talks in Islamabad took place under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) – a joint action plan for cooperation in the key areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, refugees’ repatriation and joint economic development.

This was the second round of APAPPS in a week that reflects the determination of both sides to pursue the policy of engagement despite differences over certain issues.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai led a high-level delegation to Islamabad comprising of senior civilian and military officials.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua headed the Pakistani delegation of senior civilian and military officials at the talks.

The first round was held in Kabul on February 3, following the deadliest Taliban-claimed attacks in Kabul on January 20 and January 27, which had killed nearly 125 people and injured over 250.