Pakistan, Afghanistan end talks on counter-terrorism

Pakistan, Afghanistan end talks on counter-terrorism
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Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan had “good discussions” after they concluded two-day talks on important issues on Saturday, an official said.

The talks in Islamabad took place under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) – a joint action plan for cooperation in the key areas of counter-terrorism and reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation, refugees’ repatriation and joint economic development, Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

This was the second round of APAPPS in a week that reflects determination of both sides to pursue policy of engagement despite differences over certain issues.

The first round was held in Kabul on February 3 following the deadliest Taliban-claimed attacks in Kabul on January 20 and January 27, which had killed nearly 125 people and injured over 250. Pakistan had offered joint investigation into the Kabul’s attacks that Kabul had blamed on the Haqqani Network.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal seemed upbeat at the discussions. “Pakistan-Afghanistan talks. Two days of good discussions. Some agreements. Further work required,” he wrote on his Twitter.

However, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said no progress was made on counter-terrorism issues.

“While some progress was made on the mechanism of cooperation, no progress was achieved on specific, results-oriented, time-bound measures in the APAPPS, particularly in the areas of counter-terrorism, reduction of violence, peace and reconciliation to meet the priorities of Afghanistan,” an Afghan Foreign Ministry statement said.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai led a high-level delegation to Islamabad comprising of senior civilian and military officials.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua headed the Pakistani delegation of senior civilian and military officials at the talks.

—IANS