In his first visit to Kabul on Thurday, July 19, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, reiterated commitments to work in close collaboration with Afghan government to promote peace and tranquility, eliminate terrorism and support reconciliation with Taliban. They also agreed to work in cooperation with each other in the fields of security, development, transit, trade, economy and investment, mining, infrastructure and energy connectivity and people-to-people contact.
It is really necessary for both the countries to understand that launching a comprehensive movement against terrorism and for the complete eradication of insecurity is in their mutual interest.
None of the countries can really benefit from having an instable neighbor; and instability in any of the countries can easily creep in the neighborhood. However, both the countries have not been very much serious in this regard and have kept on following individual interests and objectives, which have given rise to some of current issues between the two countries.
Currently, Afghanistan has been desperately striving to reach to some sort of reconciliation with Taliban. Pakistani Prime Minister, in talks with President Karzai, ensured Islamabad's support for the process. He emphasized that Pakistan would always support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
The role of High Peace Council (HPC), in this regard, was appreciated and the leaders expected better outcome from the HPC's chairman, Salahuddin Rabbani's visit to Islamabad. It was also agreed in the meeting between the two leaders to resume regular meetings of the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Peace Commission.
Though, it is very evident from the manifested interests of both the countries that they are urging for a peace agreement with Taliban, a practicable approach, in this regard, is out of sight. Rather, both the countries have supported the blame-game that suggests that they support insurgent groups against each other. With such an approach, it would be very difficult to have a comprehensive and joint approach against terrorism.
Both the leaders also emphasized the role and importance of regional organizations and forums so as to increase regional cooperation. They suggested for the involvement of other regional countries and even emphasized to complete the projects that were already promised to be carried out on the regional level. They brought into their discussion the cross-border shootings and also promised to solve the issues related to the refugees.
It is really important for both the countries to move a step ahead. They have been making commitments and promises; that cannot help any longer. Now they have to carry out practical measures and be really committed to the cause of a better and prosperous region, which will benefit both the countries alike.