World Neighbours 24 Mar 2016 Pak making sincere a ...

Pak making sincere and consistent efforts in Afghanistan: PM

PTI
Published Mar 24, 2016, 6:07 pm IST
Updated Mar 24, 2016, 6:07 pm IST
Sharif said Pakistan has a vital stake in peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.
The historic first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the Pakistani resort town of Muree last July to find a solution to the 13-year-old insurgency. (Photo: AP)
 The historic first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the Pakistani resort town of Muree last July to find a solution to the 13-year-old insurgency. (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: Pakistan was making "sincere and consistent" efforts for promoting reconciliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the US.

Sharif was speaking to US ambassador to Pakistan David Hale who called on him in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan reported.

 

Sharif said Pakistan has a vital stake in peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and is engaged in sincere and consistent efforts for promoting reconciliation through an Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process.

The US ambassador appreciated Pakistan's efforts for revival of peace in Afghanistan. Hale said peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of entire region and Pakistan's endeavors in this regard will help a great deal.

The historic first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the Pakistani resort town of Muree last July to find a solution to the 13-year-old insurgency but hit a roadblock after the announcement of the militant leader Mullah Omar's death, which had been kept secret for two years.

Pakistan hosted a four-nation talks in January this year for trying to create a roadmap for restarting peace negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan national government. The four-day talks involved Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and the US.

The Taliban, however, issued a statement on March 5 saying they would not participate in a peace process with the Afghan government until foreign forces stop attacking their positions and leave the country. It said reports of their participation were "rumours."

The Afghan government still hopes to hold peace talks with the Taliban. Talking about the Pakistan-US relationship, Sharif said important decisions agreed during his visit to the US have generated a new momentum in steering the bilateral relations forward.

He said Pak-US strategic dialogue has been instrumental in identifying the achievements made so far and setting new targets under six working groups.

Sharif said he looks forward to have useful exchange of views on bilateral issues with US President Barack Obama during his visit to attend the nuclear security summit later this month.

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