Ghani and Sharif to ramp up war on terror

AfPakKABUL: President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have agreed to speed up fight against terrorist outfits and to bolster bilateral cooperation, TOLO news reported.

Ghani and Sharif held a meeting on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit this weekend in Astana of Kazakhstan, where they joined hands to intensify their joint efforts in a bid to confront terrorism.

Sharif reportedly expressed condolences over the recent terrorist attacks, especially the bloody wave of violence in Capital Kabul, following the May 31 tanker bombing in the sensitive zone of the city that claimed over 500 killed and wounded.

Innocent Afghans lost their precious lives as a result of explosion, but the real target appeared to be diplomatic sites—an act, contradicting the Geneva Convention, the statement said.

The statement added, “The increase of violence especially during Ramadan and at the funeral of martyrs was unacceptable.” He emphasized the urgency to reduce the level of violence against innocent civilians in Afghanistan.

The statement furthered, Ghani told Sharif, “It is therefore imperative that Afghanistan and Pakistan must join hands in order to eliminate these terrorist networks and their safe havens as well as support infrastructure”.

Moreover, according to the statement, the two leaders were formally agreed to bolster their joint and urgent efforts to put an end to terrorism in all of its forms that threaten the security and stability of the neighboring countries, including the region and beyond.

The two sides also agreed to bring in practice the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) mechanism and bilateral meetings in a bid to agree on specified and concrete actions.  Such type of meetings would help the two sides to monitor and verify the actions taken against terrorist outfits, the statement said.

In addition to that, the statement added, the two leaders were agreed upon to frame working teams in order to put together their plans for mutual coordination and to intensify urgent measures to eliminate terrorist networks in their respective territories. However, Kabul would be the host of first meeting to be followed by Islamabad.

The Ghani and Sharif were agreed to use the QCG for promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.  The group is composed of United States, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The statement further reveals, Afghanistan is willing to have peace, “The Afghan government has not only shown its will but also displayed its capacity to make peace as it did with the Hizb-e-Islami.  This is the first deal of such kind in 40 years.”

According to the statement, Taliban are losing time because the patience of the Afghan people and international community has been has been exhausted by their barbaric acts of terrorism.

The two sides further agreed to take all required measures against those groups who refuse to join the peace process.

Addressing to the participants of Kabul process Conference, Ashraf Ghani warned Taliban to embrace peace or face harsh consequences.  Some analysts on both sides were observed optimistic in the meeting of Ashraf Ghani and Sharif to be an ice break in the tens relations between the two countries. However, some Afghan analysts say, meetings between the leadership of the two countries should be continued but in Pakistan the real powers and Afghan policy are in the hands of military establishment, rather than Sharif.  They emphasized to focus on Kabul Process Conferences instead of any Quadrilateral Cooperation Group and Moscow-led conferences on Afghanistan.

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