ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday congratulated Ashraf Ghani on his re-election as President of Afghanistan for second term. In a tweet, the prime minister said he looks forward to working with Ashraf Ghani.

He also said that Pakistan will do everything it possibly can to bring peace and stability in our region.

Imran Khan’s statement comes after Ashraf Ghani during his installation ceremony in Kabul on Monday announced that the mechanism for the release of Taliban prisoners has been reached and a presidential decree would be issued in this regard today.

Earlier, addressing a big public gathering at Ghalanai in the border district Mohmand on Monday, Prime Minister prayed for the success of the landmark US-Afghan Taliban agreement and restoration of peace in Afghanistan as it affects tribal people as well.

“I pray for Afghanistan from the bottom of my heart and I hope that this peace deal succeeds as it will benefit Afghan people as well as bring peace in our tribal areas,” he said.

The landmark peace deal, signed on Feb 29 in Doha between US and Afghan Taliban lays out a timetable for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months.

The prime minister’s remarks comes after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who initially refused to release the prisoners, has announced that the mechanism for the release of Taliban prisoners has been reached and a presidential decree would be issued in this regard on Tuesday.

 

Ashraf Ghani said in his speech that the government he was forming would not only include members of his political camp though he would continue with the previous cabinet for two weeks. “Then we will form an inclusive government after consultation,” he said.

On March 2, Ghani had said he would not commit to a clause in the US-Taliban deal that called for a massive prisoner exchange, something the militants have been demanding for years.

Ghani had committed to continue honouring a partial truce that saw violence plummet in Afghanistan, but he had pushed back against the requirement for the Taliban to release up to 1,000 prisoners and for the Afghan government to release around 5,000 captives by March 10, when talks are supposed to start.