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Pakistan for enhancing more cooperation with Afghanistan

Islamabad, Pakistani military, intelligence officials, diplomats and representatives of key ministries have reached an understanding to enhance coordination with their counterparts in Afghanistan; local media reported quoting officials as saying.

A senior official privy to Pak-Afghan discussions in Kabul on July 22 said: It is an achievement as we were able to break the inertia in our ministries and departments to engage more closely with Afghanistan.

Pakistan pushed Afghanistan to host the inaugural meetings of the five working groups (WGs) under the Afghanistan and Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) to address all issues of mutual concern bilaterally by enhancing regular institutional cooperation.

The official said Pakistan sent a 29-member delegation, the largest from Pakistani side that visited Kabul in years, which shows the resolve of various ministries to enhance good cooperation with Afghanistan in all important and potential areas.

The official said both sides, while reviewing the existing security situation, agreed to take additional security measures and to closely coordinate their military ground operations in the border region to more effectively fight terrorist groups that pose security threats to the two countries.

The two sides were also of the opinion that terrorism is common enemy that has to be defeated through better coordination of ground operations and joint efforts to weaken the extremist narratives in the region.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to work through mechanisms of APAPPS to meet all challenges and crises that might threaten to destabilise bilateral relations and to jointly explore possibilities to undertake connectivity and energy projects initiatives like CPEC, TAPI, CASA 1000, Kabul-Peshawar Motorway and Chaman-Kandahar-Herat railway lines.

The APAPPS was conceived during President Ashraf Ghani meeting with Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on October 1, 2017. After several rounds of negotiations, both sides finalised the APAPPS in Islamabad on May 14, 2018.

It was also conveyed that Pakistan had suffered considerably as a neighbour due to decades-old conflict in Afghanistan.

In this regard, the primacy of an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led solution leading to lasting peace in the country through a political process was highlighted.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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