Hekmatyar: Afghans consider Pakistan as a ‘second home’


Staff Reporter


Veteran Afghan politician and Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, arrived in Islamabad on a three-day visit earlier on Monday. He said Afghans think of Pakistan as their second home, in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Hekmatyar made these comments during a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Foreign Office.
During the meeting, the two discussed matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations between the two countries and the Afghan peace process, the statement added. The foreign minister said Pakistan will continue to play the role of a facilitator in the Afghan peace process.
“Intra-Afghan talks provide a unique opportunity to the leadership for establishing lasting peace in the country,” the foreign minister said.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan has been playing its reconciliatory role in Afghan peace process with sincerity.
The Foreign Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan categorically stated that the only way for durable peace in Afghanistan is Afghan-owned political dialogue.
He said, “We are happy that Pakistan’s perspective is being appreciated at global level today.” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said peace and stability in the region is linked to long-lasting peace in Afghanistan. The Minister said Pakistan will continue its efforts for peace in the region, including Afghanistan.
Hekmatyar, who twice served as Afghan prime minister in 1990s, had recently said that India, due to its rivalry with Pakistan, was dissatisfied with the peace process in Afghanistan and it had started supporting local militias to act as spoilers of the peace process.
“China and Pakistan have a common and coordinated position on Afghanistan and not only do they support the peace process, rather they see it as beneficial for their regional interests, especially if it leads to a reduction in India’s presence in Afghanistan,” the Afghan leader had said.
Hekmatyar’s visit comes a few weeks after Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah visited Pakistan.

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