Pakistani delegation in Kabul for first over meeting of Joint Working Group

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KABUL: A high-powered Pakistani delegation led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua reached Kabul to take part in the first ever meeting of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Working Group.

In a weekly media briefing on Friday, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan has proposed five joint working groups, focusing on ensuring a comprehensive engagement for countering terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation and connectivity.

“There is no military solution to the Afghan problem, he said only an Afghan-led and owned peace process will ensure peace in the country,” he said.

The FO spokesperson also reaffirmed that Pakistan will continue to support efforts for peace in Afghanistan, but the Afghan government needs to reach a settlement with different Afghan groups.

This comes days after a high-level Afghan delegation visited Pakistan.

The delegation, comprising the Afghan interior minister and the chief of National Directorate of Security, met with Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi.

Shedding light on the meeting, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif had stressed the need to resolve Pak-Afghan issues bilaterally and said Pakistan “stands with its Afghan brothers in this hour of grief,” referring to the recent spate of bomb-and-gun attacks in Kabul over the past month which have claimed nearly 200 lives.

NSC condemns spate of terror attacks in Kabul

The National Security Committee (NSC) Friday strongly condemned recent spate of terror attacks in Afghanistan and observed that the reaction of the Afghan government was based on misconceptions created by certain foreign elements.

The 18th meeting of the NSC met here under the chair of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Interior Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Chairman JCSC General Zubair Mehmood Hayat, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman, National Security Advisor Lt. General (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua and senior civil and military officials.

The committee emphasized that the people of Pakistan understood the pain and anguish of the people of Afghanistan very well since they were themselves the greatest victims of terrorism.

The committee reviewed the security situation in the region and strongly condemned the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Kabul and observed that the government and people of Pakistan shared the shock, grief and sorrow of their Afghan brethren and stood by their side in complete solidarity.

The committee expressed the resolve to forge ahead, despite difficulties, with positive engagement with Afghanistan, including the already planned visit of the Pakistani delegation to Kabul on February 3, 2018, for discussions on Pakistan’s proposed “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Solidarity.”

The national security body expressed satisfaction on the progress made with regard to border controls with Afghanistan and noted that the Afghan government should support the fencing of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border as being in the interest of both countries.

The meeting reviewed the actions taken by the Government of Pakistan and provincial governments to fulfill the country’s international responsibilities under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) framework.

The body expressed satisfaction over the objectives achieved so far and directed the ministries concerned to complete the few outstanding actions at the earliest.

The committee directed that the achievements made by Pakistan in fulfilling its international obligations should be fully shared with the FATF, and expressed its hope that the FATF would not be politicized by a few countries.

Finally, the National Security Committee reaffirmed Pakistan’s position of continuing to play its role for regional stability and peace.

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Story first published: 3rd February 2018

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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