ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday felicitated Afghanistan on their 99th Independence Day, saying he was looking forward to engage with Kabul for promoting peace and stability which was needed for the prosperity of the two countries.

“I look forward to sustained high-level engagement with your government both to promote peace and stability as well as to create a conducive environment for long-term economic development and prosperity of our two nations,” said the prime minister in his letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The prime minister has conveyed sincere wishes and prayers of the people of Pakistan to the Afghan brothers and sisters on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day. “We pray that this auspicious moment marks the dawn of a new era that will usher the Afghan nation towards lasting peace and stability under your visionary leadership through an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led process. Pakistan firmly stands with Afghanistan in all its endeavours to end the decades old violence and instability that has affected the region,” said the letter of the prime minister.

Earlier, Pakistan congratulated Afghanistan on the 99th Independence Day of Afghanistan and welcomed its decision of ceasefire during Eidul Azha.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said: “We extend our sincere wishes for peace, prosperity, stability, economic development and long-term prosperity of the brotherly country.”

He also welcomed the Afghan government's declaration of a ceasefire during the upcoming festival of Eidul Azha.

“Pakistan fully supports all such efforts that contribute to achieving durable stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan deserve it. Coinciding with the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the announcement has an even greater significance,” he added.

Pakistan, he said, “considers Eidul Azha as an appropriate occasion for all parties to make a commitment to ceasefire along the lines of a much appreciated ceasefire in Afghanistan during Eidul Fitr.”

He added: “We also call upon all parties that in defence to the holy tradition of sacrifice during Eidul Azha to implement a ceasefire in hostilities - preferably for a more extended period of time. This would allow the people of Afghanistan to celebrate the great Abrahamic tradition in comfort and peace, during this holy month of Zilhaj. Such steps we expect will create an environment of enduring peace and stability.”