President Ashraf Ghani met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Kazakhstan on Friday where they discussed the ongoing Afghan peace process among other mutual interest issues.
According to Pakistani officials, Ghani and Sharif met for 45 minutes and talked about improving bilateral ties and Afghanistan’s peace process.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping in a meeting with Ghani pledged that Beijing will mediate in relieving tensions between Kabul and Islamabad and will host a trilateral summit.
“Our demand is clear; Pakistan should honestly cooperate in fighting against terrorism. In this meeting, it was agreed that a trilateral meeting will be held among Kabul, Islamabad and Beijing,” Dawa Khan Minapal, President Ghani’s deputy spokesman said.
A number of political analysts said China is willing to mediate between Kabul and Islamabad because of its investments and economic interests in the region and that Beijing has the power to force Pakistan to fight terror sincerely.
“Tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan is an obstacle on the way of China’s economic activities. China has long strategic relations with Pakistan and also cannot easily ignore Afghanistan; therefore, it is willing to mediate between Kabul and Islamabad,” university lecturer Nasrullah Stanikzai said.
“Afghanistan hopes that China will use its close relations with Pakistan to force the country to cooperate with Kabul, but China's foreign policy will be conservative and cautious in this respect,” political analyst Zabi Farhang said.
Afghan government has often called on regional countries to encourage Pakistan to become sincere in fighting against terrorism in the region.
Last week at the Kabul Process meeting, President Ghani said made serious remarks about Pakistan. He said the Afghan government was committed to fighting terrorism but that it wants to build strong political and economic ties with all neighboring countries.
He said Afghanistan is suffering an “undeclared war of aggression from Pakistan”.
Ghani said Taliban sponsored terrorism is creating a platform that is bringing terrorists from all over the region to Afghanistan.