Foreign Minsiter Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday assured the visiting Afghan leader Dr Abdullah Abdullah that Pakistan will not inch back in extending facilitation to Afghanistan for resumption of peace. “You [Afghans] will find us stand firm by your side in your journey towards stability as a prosperous Afghanistan guarantees a prosperous Pakistan,” the Foreign Minister said at a press conference, referring to his meeting with Chairman of the High Coucil for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan. Dr Abdullah Abdullah arrived here Monday morning on a three-day visit, where he is scheduled to meet the country’s leadership on matters related to peace process in Afghanistan.Updating about his meeting with Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the foreign minister said he assured the Afghan leader that Pakistan would continue to play its role as a facilitator in ensuring peace in Afghanistan. He mentioned that the state institutions of Pakistan are on the same page to support resumption of peace in Afghanistan. “Pakistan’s interests are linked with the solidarity and sovereignty of Afghanistan,” he said. Terming the peace deal between the Afghan Taliban and the United States a ‘golden opportunity’, Qureshi said he urged upon the Afghan delegation to seize the chance in the interest of sustainable peace. “I advised them to move forward and decide for themselves about the future of their country, while Pakistan will be ever-ready to act as a facilitator,” he said.The foreign minister recalled that Pakistan always favoured a political solution for Afghanistan, instead of a military option. He said the visit of Afghan delegation in the “current conducive environment” would open up a new chapter of fraternity in Pak-Afghan relations as “Pakistan desired end of violence and ceasefire between the groups in Afghanistan”. He expressed confidence that strengthening of relations between the two neighbouring countries would enhance bilateral trade and regional connectivity. Foreign Minister Qureshi, reaffirming Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, stressed that mistakes of the past should not be repeated nor past history may dictate the future course of action. He further underlined that there was a need to guard against the detrimental role of ‘spoilers’, both within and outside Afghanistan, who do not wish to see return of peace in the region.The Foreign Minister expressed these views during a meeting with Dr Abdullah Abdullah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He expressed the hope that his visit will open a new chapter in bilateral relations. He said that Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s visit will greatly help to strengthen relations with Afghanistan and forge a common understanding on the Afghan peace process.The Foreign Minister also extended best wishes to Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in steering the peace negotiations to a successful outcome.Reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast support to the peace process, he emphasized that Pakistan had always maintained there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and encouraged all parties to reach a political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. Abdullah wrote on Twitter that both sides discussed the peace process, the intra-Afghan talks in Qatar and strengthening bilateral relations. Dr Abdullah Abdullah planted a sapling of pine at the lawns of the foreign ministry as a tradition reserved for the high-level dignitaries.