ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai at Murree on Tuesday, said Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to work closely for peace in the region.

The meeting took place at the picturesque hill resort as the Afghan president extended his stay on the request of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The two leaders stayed overnight at Murree to hold more talks on important issues of bilateral and regional cooperation.

Prime Minister Sharif, during the meeting, said Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to work closely for the regional peace. The meeting, which was also attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, discussed the overall security situation in the region.

The prime minister said Afghanistan was a close neighbour and brotherly country. He said both the countries were facing common challenges and the two must be on the same page. He said Pakistan would continue to support Afghan reconciliation process.

“Our security and future prosperity is linked to that of Afghanistan, in multiple ways,” Premier Sharif said and stressed that Pakistan attached great importance to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan.

The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong and sincere support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Premier Nawaz further said the region had witnessed conflict and instability for decades, adding now it was high time to realise our common positive agenda of peace and development.

The prime minister also hosted a luncheon for the visiting Afghan President and his delegation.

The meeting discussed regional security situation and other issues, including ways to curb terrorism and further improve Pak-Afghan relations, bring stability and peace to the region.

Earlier, Prime Minister Muahmmad Nawaz Sharif and President Hamid Karzai held one on one meeting in Islamabad this morning and exchanged views on bilateral issues besides discussing regional situation with particular focus on post-Nato troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan next year.

They also discussed border situation and possible cooperation in war against terrorism.

The Afghan president urged Pakistan to help arrange peace talks between his government and the Taliban. He requested Pakistan to assist in ongoing reconciliation process in Afghanistan to bring peace and stability to the country.

President Karzai, during his stay, extended his invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Afghanistan, which he accepted. The dates would be determined through diplomatic channels.

Hamid Karzai returned to Afghanistan after completing his two-day visit to Pakistan.

Prime Minister’s Special Representative on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz saw him off on Nur Khan Airbase.