KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday saluted neighbouring Pakistan’s cooperation as Kabul seeks to lay the groundwork for peace with Taliban insurgents, the latest sign of improving ties between the two nations.
Afghanistan “appreciates Pakistan’s recent efforts in paving the ground for peace and reconciliation”, Ghani said in a statement. “We welcome the recent position Pakistan has taken in pronouncing Afghanistan’s enemy as Pakistan’s.”
He cited two major recent attacks as helping to bring the countries closer together one in Yahya Khel in Afghanistan in November that left nearly 50 people dead, and a Taliban massacre at a school in the Pakistan city of Peshawar in December that killed 153, mostly children.
Ghani’s statement came after a top Pakistani minister said Thursday that relations between the two countries had never been better.
“I think Afghanistan and Pakistan, working in close hands and in close cooperation, it will do wonders for the cooperation in the field of counter terrorism,” Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said as he met with top US diplomat John Kerry in Washington.
“Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have never been better, and that is a very, very positive development.”
Ghani, however, said in his statement that “there are obviously elements opposing the peace process by spreading false information to cause public confusion and anxiety”.