PM chairs meeting to discuss regional issues

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting on Wednesday of all relevant stakeholders to discuss important regional developments including those relating to Afghanistan. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister of Interior, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jail Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary, Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, Chief of Army Staff and Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam, Director General ISI attended the meeting.

Reiterating his vision of seeking friendly and cooperative relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbours, the Prime Minister discussed the recent visit of his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz to Kabul on 21 July 2013 and the upcoming visit of Mr. Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, to Pakistan. The Prime Minister emphasized that these visits gave both sides the opportunity to substantially transform the relationship and place it on more cooperative plane.

The Prime Minister emphasized that peace and stability in Afghanistan were vital to peace and stability in Pakistan. Afghanistan also had the potential of becoming a substantial and viable economic partner and a conduit of important energy pathways from Central Asia to South Asia.

Recalling the tremendous sacrifices that Pakistan has made over the last three decades to help its Afghan brothers and sisters, including through hosting more than three million Afghan refugees, the Prime Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to help Afghanistan achieve the goals of peace and stability and putting the cycle of violence behind it.

The meeting discussed various initiatives and measures in this regard including how to further strengthen and assist the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.