Constructive developments are taking place in the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, after a long stretch of uncertainties and agitation. On Monday, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa along with the chief of Pakistani spy agency met the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani. The topics of discussion entailed a detailed analysis of the regional security dynamics, the encroachment of terrorist elements in the region, improvement in bilateral relations, and the new avenues to explore in terms of trade and transit.

The Afghan President was guided and helped by the Afghan Defence Minister and National Security Adviser during the discussions. The meeting took place at the presidential palace in the Afghanistan.

The first aspect which was decided in the meeting and agreed upon by both parties was to let bygones be bygones, and not look upon the matters of the past anymore. This means that both countries will no longer mistrust each other in the process of better development of ties. This is an encouraging step. Suspicion has marred the relationship in the past, and it can no longer persist. This will allow trust to develop and both parties will take each other into account while making important decisions about the region. Bilateral relations will ultimately improve, and because of involving each other in the process, no foreign forces will be able to influence the process.

The second aspect which was discussed was the task of effectively chalking out a plan for taking out terrorism from the region. For this particular aspect, General Bajwa also offered to train Afghan soldiers to deal with terrorists in a better manner. It is about time that these elements stop casually walking into the institutions of Afghanistan and blowing themselves up. Bajwa also offered to train the police personnel in Pakistan because that is where Pakistan lags behind, and can make an attempt to better itself. These are concrete steps – as opposed to verbal advances – which in conjunction with security and intelligence cooperation should help in tackling this region’s persistent menace.

This means that the two countries, which are being affected by terrorism the most in the region, are finally joining hands to find a peaceful region. The meeting as a result of these positive gestures has been termed as candid, positive, respectful, constructive and encouraging in the long run. These words were used by the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal.

This development will take the relationship a long way. Both parties need to be diplomatically adept to steer the situation in the right direction, and make the right policies to resolve the situation.