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There should be no distinction between good and bad terrorists: Ashraf Ghani

16 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday told a top Pakistani diplomat that there should be ‘no distinction between good and bad terrorists’.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who was in Kabul for the first round of Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral political consultations, met President Ghani at the Presidential Palace and discussed bilateral issues.

She is the first senior Pakistani official to travel to Kabul after political change in Pakistan last month.

Afghan president, while referring to the terrorist threat in the region, said that there should be no distinction between good and bad terrorists as terrorism was a serious threat to the people of both countries, according to the Afghan presidential palace.

President Ghani raised Afghanistan’s security concerns and drew attention of the Pakistani official towards ‘rocket attacks along the Durand Line’, urging her to share his concerns with the new leadership in Islamabad.

He said that Pakistan should take substantive and practical measures based on discussions in the London meeting. He said that a third party should thoroughly and impartially monitor the process so that it could yield results.

The foreign secretary said that Pakistan was concerned at the security situation in the region and that she will convey Kabul’s concerns to the country’s new leadership, according to the statement.

Earlier Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Afghan Deputy Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai agreed to take steps to enhance mutual trust and confidence, Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Both the officials held the first round of Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral political consultations and agreed to work together through different mechanisms to bridge the trust gap.

In the bilateral consultations, a wide range of issues including the Afghan peace process, security along Durand Line and bilateral trade and transit were discussed.

The two sides expressed their interest to enhance bilateral trade which has been in a decreasing trajectory in the recent times, said the statement.

Both sides also agreed to provide sufficient facilities to the traders and eliminate the factors which hamper bilateral trade.

Karzai stressed the importance of recent bilateral political, security and economic engagements and fulfilling the commitments including those made in the format of Quadrilateral Coordination Group, the meeting of the leaders of the two countries in Astana, the agreements made during the visit of the foreign minister of China to Kabul and Islamabad and during the meetings of senior officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan on different occasions.

The second round of Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral political consultations will be held in the first quarter of 2018.

Foreign affairs experts are upbeat at the Pak-Afghan bilateral ties at a time when the relationship is its lowest ebb.

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