ISLAMABAD - Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Monday that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

While talking to a 14-member delegation of the Afghan media, presently on a visit to Pakistan, Aziz said that the focus should be on political settlement through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for lasting peace in Afghanistan. In this regard, he highlighted serious efforts made by Pakistan for peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban. Aziz said that cooperation between the two countries was important for promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Ties between the two Muslim countries have been tense in the recent past amid cross allegations. Last week, Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa announced that fence-installation had begun along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He said that the fence-installation was aimed at securing borders which was mutually beneficial for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Recently, Pakistan-Afghanistan borders at Chaman and Angoor Adda were sealed over escalated tensions. Islamabad demanded of the Afghan government to take action against terror outfits that were using its soil against Pakistan.

This came as a fresh wave of terrorism hit Pakistan recently, claiming more than 100 lives and wounding scores. The cities of Lahore, Quetta, Sehwan Sharif and Peshawar were hit by terrorists in the latest strikes. Pakistan later reopened border crossings with Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture.

Aziz said that the relations between the two countries were rooted in common history, religion, culture and people to people ties.

He said that like their past, Afghanistan and Pakistan also shared their destiny. He said that it was important to work closely for dealing with the common challenges and pursue the welfare and progress of the people.

Aziz described terrorism as the common enemy urging close cooperation and meaningful engagement between the two governments in the areas of security, counter-terrorism and border management for preventing cross border movement of terrorist groups.

“The members of the Afghan media delegation had frank and candid conversation on the efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and strengthening of bilateral engagement. The delegation is undertaking a visit to Pakistan from April 2 to April 8 for interaction with government, parliamentary and civil society institutions,” said a foreign ministry statement.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs met with Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal. 

During the meeting, Fatemi stressed the importance of a peaceful, politically negotiated settlement as the best solution to the Afghan conflict , the foreign ministry said in a statement.

In this context, he highlighted the serious efforts undertaken by Pakistan for facilitating an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

Fatemi also emphasized that terrorism was a common threat that required cooperation between the two countries for elimination of the menace.

Recalling the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan carried out by Jamatul Ahrar and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan from the Afghan soil, he underlined the need for effective border management for preventing cross border movement of terrorists.

Ambassador Zakhilwal appreciated the constructive exchanges while stressing the need for a meaningful institutional engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address the common challenges and threats.

“Both sides agreed for early implementation of the bilateral cooperation mechanism recently agreed between the two sides,” said the statement.