Islamabad: Pakistan today appealed to the Afghan Taliban to shun violence and join the peace process as it pledged another USD 500 million to the war-torn country for reconstruction work.
"Our message to Taliban remains to shun violence and to join the peace process," Foreign Office (FO) quoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz as saying. Aziz, while addressing the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan where India hit out at Pakistan for blocking Indo-Afghan trade via Attari border for "political reasons", emphasised that politically negotiated settlement was the most viable option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.
He also welcomed the peace deal signed between Afghan government and Hezb-i-Islami militant outfit assuring Pakistan's continued efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).
FO said Aziz pledged the fresh money for economic development projects in Afghanistan.
"Aziz underlined importance of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan for Pakistan and announced of Pakistan's fresh pledge of USD 500 million for economic development projects in Afghanistan.
"This is in addition to USD 500 million existing package under which projects in infrastructure, education and health are nearing completion," it said.
The Brussels Conference is being held as a sequel to the Tokyo Conference that took place in 2012 for affirming the international community's engagement with Afghanistan through economic and financial assistance for Afghanistan.