PESHAWAR - Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Muhammad Umar Zakhelwal said on Thursday that TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah was hiding in an area, where Afghan government has no control.

He, however, maintained that efforts are underway for arresting or eliminating of all the terrorists, whether they are from Pakistan, Afghanistan or any other country.

“I want make it clear that Afghan government and its people will never allow anyone to work against Pakistan or harm its people”, Dr Zakhelwal said this while speaking at a function held here at Afghan Consulate.

Removal of trust-deficit between Islamabad and Kabul is a must for durable peace in both the neighbouring countries, because some elements are adamant on derailing peace process in the region, the Afghan Ambassador said.

Talks with Afghan Taliban are due in the current month, he said. But it is very unfortunate that violence and acts of terrorism intensify in Afghanistan and Pakistan when initiatives are taken for improving ties between the two neighbouring countries, he said.

“I will say a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in favour of Pakistan. Moreover, Afghan government would never allow or provide space to the terrorists who have been planning and attacking inside Pakistan,” he said.

He said that they expect a lot from Islamabad and the Afghan government would move ten steps forward in response of Pakistan’s one step towards elimination of terrorism in the region.  

Dr Zakhelwal, who had served as finance minister in former President Hamid Karzai’s government said that as a result of imposed wars and hostilities, Afghanistan suffered a lot and Pakistan would meet the same fate if the existing violence and crises continue.

He said that there may be complaints and reservations against each other but all these matters could easily be sorted out through mutual understanding and consultations.

It was first visit of Dr Umer Zakhelwal to Peshawar as Ambassador to Pakistan where he met a large number of representatives of Afghan refugees and students at Afghan Consulate. 

Besides Afghan Consul General Dr Abdullah Waheed Poyan, Afghan refugees’ elders and an official responsible for the Afghan refugees in Peshawar briefed the ambassador on the problems being faced by Afghan refugees and students living in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Afghan envoy said that he was in close contact with Pakistani authorities and UNHCR officials in Pakistan to extend the validity of existing registration cards and new registration of thousands of Afghan nationals in Pakistan.

“A few days back I held a meeting with SAFRON Minister Abdul Qadar Baloch and pointed all such problems,” he said and added that he would also meet and discuss these issues with CM KP Pervez Khattak.

Praising Pakistan and its people for hosting huge number of Afghan refugees for more than three decades, Dr Zakhelwal said that Afghans wanted to return to their homeland in a respectable way. 

In the same breath, he requested Islamabad to remain patient for couple of years as atmosphere in Afghanistan is not conducive for repatriation. 

Majority of Afghans remain very peaceful and made contribution in Pakistan economy, Dr Zakhelwal who is also special representative of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for Pakistan said.

Later, the Afghan Ambassador while addressing a seminar on Pak-Afghan relations held at University of Peshawar said that there is need for promoting people to people contact at different forums for permanent and durable peace between the two neighbouring countries.