ISLAMABAD - National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua on Tuesday urged Kabul to avoid blame-game as it is not in the interest of both countries, saying Pakistan wants a lasting peace in the war-torn Afghanistan.

The NSA stated this while addressing a seminar titled “China-Afghanistan-Pakistan: Constructive Engagement for sustainable growth” in Islamabad.

He said Pakistan has been trying to engage Taliban in political process for lasting peace in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said China wants to host the next phase of dialogue for Afghan peace.

Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said regional stability is directly linked with trade and every project of Pakistan leaves a positive impact on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a delegation from Afghanistan led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai called on National Security Adviser Lt. General (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua and  discussed options to strengthen bilateral relations.

The NSA warmly welcomed the delegates and congratulated them and the Pakistani team for finalising Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). He expressed his hopes that the agreement would be instrumental for bringing both sides closer.

Karzai said that Pakistan and Afghanistan shared many commonalities, including challenges and opportunities. He also highlighted the fact that for sustainable peace in Afghanistan, both countries need to work together. 

He added that Pakistan has a very important role to play for regional peace and stability.  Moreover, Pakistan is not the part of the problem but solution. 

He also expressed hope that after the formal finalisation of APAPPS, both countries will be able to develop a mechanism of sustainable cooperation and will cover the gaps in the way of cordial bilateral relations.

The NSA said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have every reason to come close and cooperate with each other. Both the countries need to reverse the prevailing challenging situation collectively.

Both countries have immense potential and should complement each other to become a trade corridor by way of regional connectivity. “Prosperity is another name of Security, we have great future but only we are delaying it”, he added.

Both sides reiterated that Economy should be separated from politics rather economic cooperation should be given a chance to surpass political impediments.

They agreed to put more efforts to operationalise APAPPS, to take a fresh start, to bridge existing gaps, to build formal mechanism of cooperation in all areas of mutual interests and to take collective actions to strengthen trust between the two countries.

Earlier on Monday Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral engagement framework Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), a newly evolved bilateral mechanism became operational with both sides hoping that its implementation would contribute to promoting peace in the region.

The seven principles agreed between Pakistan and Afghanistan for the new framework for engagement, included commitments that Pakistan would support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation; the two countries would undertake effective actions against fugitives and the irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries; both countries would deny use of their respective territory by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country; they would put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism through liaison officers for realisation of the agreed actions; territorial and aerial violations of each other’s territory would be avoided; there would be no public blame game and instead APAPPS cooperation mechanisms would be utilised to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns; and working groups and necessary cooperation mechanism would be set up as per APAPPS.

Both sides have operationalised six working groups, including the ones on security and intelligence cooperation.

The APAPPS is a Pakistani initiative for cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, refugees’ repatriation and joint economic development. The plan enjoys the backing of both China and the United States.