ISLAMABAD    -   Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that regional peace and stability depended on Afghan peace as Islamabad would continue to support for normalcy in the war-torn Afghanistan.

Talking to Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador (Retd) Muhammad Sadiq, who called on him, Qureshi said Pakistan, while fulfilling its responsibility, would continue its sincere and reconciliatory efforts for peace and stability in the region.

“Peace and stability in the region depend on peaceful solution to the Afghan issue,” he said. During the meeting, matters pertaining to Afghan peace process including peace and stability in the region came under discussion, said an official statement.

Last month, Afghan peace chief Abdullah Abdullah concluded a visit to Pakistan aimed at mending ties between the two countries.

Abdullah, a harsh critic of Pakistan who has previously accused the country of sponsoring Afghan Taliban in 19-year war against the United States and Afghan forces, struck a markedly conciliatory tone throughout the visit, one that both countries are hoping will help reset ties at a critical stage in the peace process.

“We leave towards Kabul, and we will leave Islamabad with a good sense and with the idea that we would continue to work together towards a better future for both countries and our region,” Abdullah said at an event before his departure.

He added: “I am appreciative of the support of the Pakistani government for the peace efforts as well as the steps taken recently in terms of bilateral relations.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who met Abdullah during his visit, echoed the sentiments. “Enjoyed meeting Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman (High Council of National Reconciliation) of Afghanistan,” he tweeted.

During the visit, Pakistan eased visa restrictions for Afghan nationals and increased the number of days their border crossing will remain open for pedestrians, a long-standing Afghan demand.

In Qatar’s capital Doha, negotiations between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban that started three weeks ago aimed at the warring sides agreeing to a reduction of violence and a possible new power-sharing agreement.

Violence, however, has not abated even as Afghan negotiators have been engaged in direct talks for the first time ever.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad also expressed concern on Tuesday over spike in violence in Afghanistan. He called on warring parties to cease hostilities and should reach out a resolution to end violence and bloodshed in the country.

“Violence is one of the biggest hurdles,” he added. “We support reduction of violence and emphasis should be given on reduction of violence in Doha negotiations.”

He said that ending the four decades of war in Afghanistan in few days was a difficult task but the international community and Afghan people were interested in immediate end of the war.

Afghanistan has recently seen deadly bombing attacks in several parts of the country. On October 5, at least eight people were killed and 36 wounded in a car bombing blast that targeted convoy of the governor of Laghman province in provincial capital, Mehtarlam Baba.

Prior to that, in a similar incident, at least 16 civilians, including the school children, were killed and 40 others wounded in Ghani Khil district of eastern Nangarhar province. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s statics show that 533 civilians were killed and 412 wounded within past six months of this year in the conflicts in Afghanistan.