ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the first senior officials’ meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process that enemies of Afghanistan are enemies of Pakistan.
Aziz said Pakistan will be able to tackle challenges through mutual cooperation, enabling the country to move forward on a path of peace, prosperity and progress.
“Afghanistan holds immense significance for us, not only because we share a common border or ethnic affinity, but also because together we can usher in a new era of regional connectivity and regional cooperation in line with the vision of transformation decade enunciated by President Ashraf Ghani,” Aziz said.
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, a joint initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey which began in November 2011, aims to provide a platform for the discussion of regional issues, and to encourage security and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbours.
The adviser assured Pakistan’s firm commitment towards ensuring that Afghanistan’s transformation phase becomes a harbinger of regional growth and prosperity, and expressed hope that with a combination of dedication and resourcefulness, the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process would be driven along a productive path.
Earlier in May, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during a day-long visit, to Kabul reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process, acknowledging that Pakistan had the highest stake in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
Following Nawaz’s visit, news broke of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan intelligence outfit National Directorate of Security (NDS) having signed an accord for cooperation in counter-terrorism operations.