A new chapter in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations has been opened. The president of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, said his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, responded “warmly” to Islamabad’s “sincere” overtures and that improved relations will result in peace and stability for the region.
Addressing lawmakers in parliament, Hussain said Pakistan’s “sincerity” to forge close ties has resulted in the opening of a “new chapter” in bilateral relations with Afghanistan’s new government, reported the Voice of America (VOA).
Hussain also said: “We are pleased to note that Mr. Ashraf Ghani and the new Afghan leadership have warmly reciprocated to Pakistan’s sincere initiative.”
“Based on the mutual trust, the relationship between the countries will not only promote regional peace and stability but will also determine new avenues for bilateral cooperation,” he added.
According to VOA, relations between the two countries have been marred by mutual suspicions and distrust. The tensions stemmed primarily from allegations the Pakistan military did not cut links to the Taliban even after becoming an ally in the US-led war against the Islamist insurgency.
In background interviews with VOA, Pakistani intelligence officials said the Afghan national unity government under President Ghani’s leadership appears determined to improve bilateral ties, and they cite “detractors” as well as “pro-war elements” in Afghanistan’s security establishment for trying to spoil the prevailing friendly atmosphere on both sides.