ISLAMABAD - Islamabad and Kabul Tuesday tried to mend their troubled ties with the former assuring the latter of its total support and facilitation of efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
This has transpired from a crucial meeting between the Adviser to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and new ambassador of Afghanistan Janan Mosazai here.
Aziz also wished Afghanistan success with the forthcoming elections and democratic transition, says a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday. It said that Sartaj Aziz while welcoming the Ambassador assured him of the Ministry's full cooperation in the discharge of his Mission in Pakistan. The Ambassador expressed gratitude for the warm welcome he had received in Pakistan.
During the meeting, the current state of relations between the two countries was discussed along with ways to further improve and strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest.
In order to further strengthen the mutual trust and confidence, the need for enhanced people-to-people contacts and regular interaction at the official level was emphasized.
The meeting came a day after Afghan officials summoned Pakistan's deputy head of mission in Kabul and spate of allegations against Pakistan for sponsoring the recent terror acts that were rejected by Islamabad with deep sense of regret and disappointment.
Pakistan while mentioning its past policy of seeking strategic depth made it clear to all and sundry that it has no favourites in Afghanistan.
Instead it has been seeking enhanced bilateral cooperation from Afghanistan in the management of their border and in counter terrorism.
Islamabad believes that peace in Pakistan is linked to peace in Afghanistan and has been supporting Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process that remains stalled largely because Afghan Taliban are reluctant to hold negations with the regime of outgoing President Hamid Karzai.
On the request of Afghanistan, Pakistan had also released a number of Taliban detainees in a goodwill gesture and in a push to help facilitate the reconciliation process, which it believes should get impetus in the wake of elections in Afghanistan.
Pakistan desires that there should be no vacuum in power structure following the withdrawal of international forces including the US by the end of this year. It has been emphasizing on policy of non-interference in Afghanistan and Afghans should be free to make their decisions.
"Pakistan strongly believes that the principle of non-interference be fully upheld and let the Afghans decide about their future course," a senior diplomat remarked when asked about Tuesday's meeting.
Credible western diplomatic sources also sounded upbeat about improved ties between the two neigbours in the coming months.