Pakistan, Afghanistan must work closely for peace: Sharif

Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace to the region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday after extended talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Updated: Aug 27, 2013, 17:51 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace to the region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday after extended talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai prolonged his visit to Pakistan by a day at Sharif`s request and the two leaders discussed regional security issues in the hill station of Murree. The meeting, which is understood to have focussed on "core and much harder issues", was also attended by powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace in the region," Sharif was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.

"We have common challenges and huge opportunities before us. Our security and future prosperity is linked to that of Afghanistan in multiple ways," he said.

Pakistan attaches "importance to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan," he said. Sharif underlined that Pakistan will continue to support the Afghan reconciliation process, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Karzai left for Kabul shortly after Sharif hosted a lunch hosted in his honour at Murree. The Prime Minister`s Special Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, saw him off at Nur Khan airbase.

Earlier, Sharif and Karzai held a one-on-one meeting in Islamabad this morning and exchanged views on bilateral issues and the regional situation, with particular focus on the withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from Afghanistan next year.

They also discussed the border situation and cooperation in the war against terrorism.
Karzai once again requested the Pakistan government to assist in the Afghan reconciliation process to bring peace and stability to his country.

PTI