No military solution to Afghan conflict possible: Pakistan

No military solution to Afghan conflict possible: Pakistan

Pakistan said today that a "military solution" to the Afghan conflict was not possible and focused efforts were needed for a politically negotiated settlement to ensure lasting peace.

Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated that Pakistan was pursuing a policy of strengthening relations with Afghanistan, according to the Foreign Office.

"On the issue of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, Adviser Sartaj Aziz reiterated that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and there was need of focused efforts for a politically negotiated settlement for lasting peace in Afghanistan," the Foreign Office said in statement.

"In this regard, Pakistan remained committed to continued efforts for facilitating an Afghan-owned Afghan-led peace process," it said.

Describing terrorism as a common threat, Aziz said that the bilateral mechanism recently agreed upon by the two countries provided an opportunity for engagement to address the issues of counter-terrorism and border management.

He said that with a view to further enhancing people-to-people exchanges, Pakistan was working on modernisation of the visa system and facilities at border crossing points.

The Pakistan government has announced another 3,000 scholarships for Afghan students in the country in the field of higher education after utilisation of the existing 3,000 scholarships, Aziz said.

On the Afghan transit trade, he urged the Afghan government to convene the next meeting of the Afghanistan- Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTA) at the earliest for revising and strengthening the APTTA.

Aziz underlined the importance of close engagement between the two sides on connectivity projects in infrastructure and energy.

He said that the USD 500 million economic assistance from Pakistan could be utilised for initiating these connectivity projects.

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