The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Tuesday said that diplomats from Afghanistan and Pakistan have wrapped up their fourth meeting in Islamabad on the joint action plan between the two countries.
The plan is known as the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).
Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to draw up a plan in April following Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s trip to Kabul where he held talks with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani. The two leaders agreed to seven key principles to finalize the action plan.
The two leaders agreed to the following:
1. Pakistan to support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,
2. The two countries agree to undertake effective action against fugitives and irreconcilable elements posing security threats to either of the two countries,
3. Both countries commit to denying the use of their respective territories by any country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either country,
4. To put in place a joint supervision, coordination and confirmation mechanism through Liaison Officers (LOs) for the realization of the agreed actions.
5. The two countries commit to avoid territorial and aerial violations of each other’s territory,
6. The two countries agree to avoid public blame games and instead use APAPPS cooperation mechanisms to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns, and
7. Establish Working Groups and necessary cooperation mechanisms as per APAPPS for full implementation of the APAPPS and the above, mutually reinforcing principles.
“Six working committees have been formed. Agreement has been reached on issues such as war against terrorism, expansion of bilateral economic cooperation, security cooperation, curbing the scale of violence, the repatriation of refugees, political cooperation and cooperation in the peace process,” said MoFA deputy spokesman Sibghatullah Ahamdi.
Afghanistan hopes that with the implementation of the action plan, Pakistan comes forward to help Afghanistan in its efforts for peace and security.
“We hope that this time Pakistan acts honestly and acts upon what it has committed to,” said interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish.
Meanwhile, a number of political commentators have remained skeptical about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan. They said that Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan has been based on deceit and lies.
“It is just a waste of time, nothing will be achieved by Pakistan, because Pakistan has for long adopted a dual policy and unfortunately Pakistan is still continuing with the same policy,” said political analyst Shahzadah Massoud.
Mohammad Haidari, a deputy spokesman for the High Peace Council (HPC) meanwhile said: “We welcome any move which is taken towards peace.”
This new development takes place at a time that Afghan officials have been constantly accusing Pakistan of supporting the Taliban to wage war in Afghanistan by providing safe havens to the Taliban leadership and other militant groups. However, Pakistan has always rejected such allegations levelled at them by the Afghan government.