Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai met here in Islamabad on Monday and discussed ways to carry forward the process of constructive engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The two leaders in a one-on-one meeting at the Prime Minister House, which lasted for an hour, focused on all issues of common interest including strengthening the bilateral ties and the evolving situation in the region.
Prime Minister Sharif and President Karzai exchanged views on their countries’ relationship based on faith, kinship culture and history.
Both the leaders discussed the common challenges facing their countries and expressed resolve to stand by each other in times of need. The one-on-one meeting was followed by delegation-level talks.
The Afghan delegation included Foreign Minister Dr Zalmai Rassoul, National Security Advisor Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister for Finance Hazrat Omer Zakhilwall, Minister for Commerce Dr Anwar ul Haq Ahady, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ershad Ahmadi, Chairman Transition Coordination Commission Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Chairman High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani and Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Muhammad Umer Daudzai.
The Pakistan side comprised Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Advisor to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, DG ISI Gen Muhammad Zahir ul Islam, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Secretary Commerce Qasim M Niaz.
This is Karzai’s first visit to Islamabad on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif since the swearing-in of new government in Pakistan.
His visit comes at a time when Afghanistan is undergoing important political and security transition as withdrawal of NATO/ISAF forces is due to be completed by December 2014.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed an agreements in Islamabad today for promotion of volume of trade and strengthening of economic relations. The finance ministers of the two countries signed the documents.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.