PM Khan says ready to work with Afghanistan’s Ghani for regional peace 

In this handout picture released by Pakistan's Press Information Department (PID) on June 27, 2019, visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (L) talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting in Islamabad. (AFP)
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Updated 10 March 2020

PM Khan says ready to work with Afghanistan’s Ghani for regional peace 

  • Pakistan reaffirmed its support for ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ peace solution
  • Islamabad expresses hope that Afghan leaders would resolve their differences for the sake of peace

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his willingness to work for regional peace with President Ashraf Ghani, following the Afghan leader’s swearing in to a second term on Monday.

“I want to congratulate Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani & look forward to working with him. Pakistan will do everything it possibly can to bring peace and stability in our region,” Khan in said in a Twitter post.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office reaffirmed in a statement its support for “a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbors.”

It said that the signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement in Doha on Feb. 29 has created “a historic opportunity for the people of Afghanistan and a pathway to intra-Afghan negotiations.”

Pakistan, the statement read, will “continue to facilitate the Afghan peace and reconciliation process” through a comprehensive and inclusive solution that is “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.”

“We hope the Afghan leaders would proceed with wisdom and foresight, eschew blame-games, resolve mutual differences, and unite in the supreme interest of their country,” Foreign Office read, as Afghanistan witnessed two oath-takings on Monday, with Ghani’s rival, Abdullah Abdullah, also announcing himself the country’s new ruler.

While Ghani’s ceremony was taking place at the presidential palace in Kabul, Abdullah held a separate one in an adjacent compound

The two leaders have been sharing power — Ghani as president and Abdullah as chief executive — since 2014.

Afghanistan’s electoral commission last month announced that Ghani had won over 50 percent of September’s presidential vote, but Abdullah rejected the result and declared himself the winner.
 


General Bajwa, Bill Gates discuss Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign 

Updated 1 min 7 sec ago

General Bajwa, Bill Gates discuss Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign 

  • The American business tycoon praises the army for supporting the anti-polio drive and ensuring its reach and coverage 
  • The army chief passes on the credit to ‘grassroots workers’ 

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates spoke on telephone about Pakistan’s COVID-19 response and resumption of anti-polio campaign, said an official handout prepared and circulated by the military’s public relations wing, ISPR, on Saturday.
Gates applauded the Pakistan Army for supporting the anti-polio drive and ensuring the program’s proper reach and coverage.
In response, the army chief said that the effort to make Pakistan polio-free was a “national cause,” adding that the credit for running an effective campaign went to “grassroots workers, including mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and healthcare representatives.”
The two also discussed how to carry out a safe anti-polio drive for everyone amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“​Mr. Gates also appreciated Pakistan’s success against COVID-19 despite resource constraints,” said the statement. “The COAS attributed the success to a true national response executed through the mechanism of [National Command and Operation Center] which allowed optimization of resources.”
The American businessman reiterated the Gates Foundation’s ongoing commitment “to fight pandemics” around the world and to support Pakistan in its goals of ending polio and improving health for every child.