Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Tuesday and appreciated Pakistan’s positive role in facilitating the Afghan peace process. He also thanked Pakistan for its long-standing contribution to the socio-economic development of Afghanistan and for hosting millions of Afghan refugees for more than four decades. The prime minister, while welcoming the Afghan dignitary, underscored historic bonds of friendship and brotherhood between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He underscored the importance, Pakistan attached to the fraternal Afghan people and reaffirmed the country’s resolve to foster closer cooperation with Afghanistan, a press release issued by the PM Media Office here said. The prime minister expressed best wishes for successful outcome of the Afghan peace process as Pakistan had the highest stake in peace and stability in the region. He reiterated his long-standing position that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process was the only way forward. He noted that Intra-Afghan negotiations provided a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to establish lasting peace. Underlining the positive contribution made by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process, he hoped that the Afghan parties would work to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. He also warned against the damaging role of ‘spoilers’, within and outside Afghanistan. Besides undermining peace and stability, he underlined, this could also undermine the peace dividend to be accrued in terms of progress and prosperity of the Afghan people. Referring to the enormous potential in bilateral trade, transit and connectivity between the two countries, the Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support for Afghanistan on the path of reconstruction and economic development and dignified return of Afghan refugees. He said that Pakistan would continue to facilitate people-to-people exchanges, promote Afghan investments, and enhance programmes for human resource development and capacity-building of Afghans, especially in the education and health sectors. Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan would continue to support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in the neighbouring country. He was talking to Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. While welcoming the visiting dignitary, the president said Pakistan and Afghanistan shared a similar history, culture and religion, and the two brotherly countries must further strengthen bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of their peoples. He said Pakistan would continue to stand by the Afghan nation in difficult times, and contribute to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan, according to a President’s Media Office news release. President Alvi underscored the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan, which would benefit not only Afghanistan and Pakistan but the entire region as well. He expressed the hope that the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, and the Intra-Afghan negotiations would help bring stability in Afghanistan. The president warned against the role of spoilers, who were bent upon derailing the peace process. The Afghan leadership must save the peace-process from being harmed and seize the historic opportunity to establish lasting peace in their country, he added. He emphasized that Pakistan’s positive contribution in promoting peace in Afghanistan had been acknowledged by the international community. President Alvi highlighted Pakistan’s support to Afghanistan, particularly the assistance extended to the Afghan refugees, opening of the border for transit and bilateral trade during the Covid-19 pandemic, and revised visa policy for the Afghan nationals. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar lauded Pakistan’s efforts for promotion of peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.