Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan is determined to help establish lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Addressing the sixth Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar, India, Sartaj Aziz said despite India’s continued violations along the line of control and working boundary, Pakistan participated in the conference. He reiterated Pakistan’s policy of helping the Afghan government in achieving peace and stability. Sartaj Aziz underlined the importance of cooperation in mitigating the effects of terrorism. He said peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved through military means, only negotiations as per the wishes of afghan people must be pursued. He further said Pakistan is ready to help Afghan economy through its trade routes. Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has hosted millions of afghan refugees for three decades and now working for their repatriation in collaboration with United Nations, which will be completed by December 2017. He termed the cancellation of SAARC leadership conference as a blow to regional cooperation and said political and economic stability can only be achieved through participation. Earlier, in his opening remarks at the conference, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and stability in the region. He said the entire region is facing the challenge of terrorism which needs to be overcome by joint efforts. Addressing the conference, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed Pakistan’s assistance worth five hundred million dollars for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The Afghan President said efforts are being made for capacity building of Afghan institutions. He thanked world leaders for paying attention to the Afghan issue.

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