ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minsiter Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday assured the visiting Afghan reconciliatory leader Dr Abdullah Abdullah that “Pakistan would 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 Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan here. Dr Abdullah Abdullah arrived here this 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 were 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.He said Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood would soon be visiting Afghanistan to hold discussions related to connectivity projects.The Foreign Minister also mentioned the gratitude expressed by the Afghan delegation over Pakistan’s continued support for the peace process.Earlier, Dr Abdullah Abdullah and his delegation were received by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The two sides held talks focusing on Afghan reconciliation process, Intra-Afghan dialogue and bilateral matters.Foreign Minister Qureshi hosted a luncheon in honour of Dr Abdullah Abdullah and his delegation.Dr Abdullah Abdullah planted a sapling of pine at the lawns of the Ministry as a tradition reserved for the high-level dignitaries.Chairperson of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Malik Muhammad Ehsanullah Tiwana and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood were present.