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Pakistan Hopes Afghan Leaders Will Unite in Supreme Interest

by Newsweek Pakistan

P.M. Khan congratulates Ashraf Ghani on second term as president of Afghanistan and says he looks forward to working together

Pakistan on Monday reaffirmed its support for a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, with the Foreign Office spokesperson vowing Islamabad will continue to facilitate the process to bring about an end to the 19-year-old conflict raging in the neighboring nation.

In a press release issued to coincide with the inauguration of Ashraf Ghani as president of Afghanistan for a second term, Aisha Farooqui said Islamabad had extended its felicitations to the Afghan leader. She said Pakistan hopes Afghan leaders would not let this critical juncture go to waste and proceed with wisdom and foresight, eschew blame-games, resolve mutual differences, and unite in the supreme interest of their country.

The spokesperson said the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement signed in Doha on Feb. 29 had created an historic opportunity for the people of Afghanistan to secure peace through intra-Afghan negotiations. Pakistan believes, she said, that only by seizing this moment and working together could Afghanistan’s leadership secure durable peace and stability in the country.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan, as a shared responsibility, would continue to facilitate the Afghan peace and reconciliation process to bring about an end to the conflict in its neighboring state through a comprehensive and inclusive, negotiated political solution that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Ghani on his re-election as the President of Afghanistan for a second term. In a message posted on Twitter, Khan said he looks forward to working with the Afghan leader to bring peace and stability to the region.

On Monday, Ghani and his chief rival Abdullah Abdullah both held parallel inaugurations declaring themselves president of Afghanistan. Ghani appeared to secure international support, drawing representatives from various foreign states at his ceremony. However, Abdullah remains undeterred and has accused Ghani of fraud in the elections.

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