Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said relations with Afghanistan have undergone a “qualitative change”, especially the bilateral security ties, since the new government in Kabul took over last year.
Sharif, during his talks with Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai, said he was deeply troubled by the devastations caused by deadly avalanches in Afghanistan.
He told Mosazai, who called on Sharif at the Prime Minister House here, that Pakistan stands with Afghanistan in this hour of need, according to an official statement.
“Pakistan would be happy to provide any further assistance that the people of Afghanistan might be in need of to meet this challenging situation,” said Sharif.
Avalanches killed nearly 250 people across Afghanistan last month, the bulk of the them in the mountainous province of Panjshir near Kabul. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed by the huge sheets of snow, which swept down from the peaks after heavy blizzards.
Pakistan on Saturday sent two plane-loads of emergency relief goods for victims of the disaster.
Sharif expressed satisfaction over the increased security cooperation between the two countries and said the visits of army chief proved helpful in streamlining important matters.
He said the Afghanistan ties have undergone a “qualitative change”.
The Pak-Afghan ties had been tense during the previous administration of Hamid Karzai, who often blamed Pakistan for providing “safe havens” to groups carrying out cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.
But after President Ashraf Ghani took over in September, the ties improved considerably.
Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif has visited Kabul at least three times since Ghani’s inauguration, and twice since a devastating Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar in December that killed 150 people, most of the students.
Afghanistan has helped Pakistan arrest some members of the Taliban cell that carried out the Peshawar attack, officials have said.
According to Afghan officials, the military operation by Pakistan army in North Waziristan tribal area has disrupted the infrastructure that supported attacks on Afghanistan.
Sharif approved appointment of a focal person to follow up on implementation of decisions taken during inter-ministerial meeting between the two countries, on a daily basis.
Afghanistan would also appoint a similar focal person.
Sharif said Pakistan hopes the Afghan peace talks would speed up and would soon conclude successfully.
Mosazai said Afghanistan highly appreciates Sharif’s vision of peaceful coexistence with neighbouring countries.
Matters relating to Afghan Transit Trade and CASA 1,000 power transmission project also came under discussion during the meeting.