Pakistan and Afghanistan on Thursday agreed to pace up their joint efforts to reduce recent spate of terrorist incidents in Afghanistan through close coordination and intelligence sharing. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a joint press stake-out at ARG Presidential Palace reaffirmed their commitment towards taking urgent steps leading to restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. Imran Khan, who arrived in the Afghan capital on his maiden visit to the neighbouring country, held talks with President Ghani, that focused on deepening of bilateral ties, Intra-Afghan peace process and regional economic development. Prime Minister Khan assured the Afghan government of Pakistan’s unflinching support and cooperation to end violence in Afghanistan including a ceasefire. “Let us know where we can help you. We assure you that we will be there to help reduce slur of violence in your country,” the prime minister told the Afghan president, as the two spoke before the local and international media. Imran Khan expressed concern over the increasing level of violence in Afghanistan and supported the idea of establishment of committees from the two governments to hold mutual discussions. He thanked President Ghani for extending an invitation to visit Afghanistan, expressing confidence that it would lead to further strengthening of ties between the two countries. Imran Khan regretted that the people of Afghanistan unfortunately suffered violence for four decades and said Pakistan was most concerned about the situation due to the fallout of situation in its own tribal areas. “My visit at this particular time has a message that Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan,” he said. The Prime Minister said peace and connectivity was the best way to ensure prosperity of Pakistan, Afghanistan and also the entire region. He said close cooperation between the committees from both sides and intelligence agencies would lead towards finding effective solutions for peace and stability. He said Pakistan played a consistent role in Intra-Afghan dialogue and noticed with concern the increasing level of violence despite the Qatar peace deal inked between the United States and Taliban in Doha, Qatar this February. “Now again to build trust, we will help the Afghan government to meet their expectations,” he said. Earlier, President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the Prime Minister, saying the visit was a ‘step to strengthen faith and cooperation’. “Our common focus will be poverty eradication and empowerment of our countries,” Ghani told the media persons on the occasion. Ashraf Ghani acknowledged that Prime Minister Khan came to Kabul with an ‘important message to help end violence’. He said enduring peace within the framework of joint cooperation was important to lead towards a comprehensive ceasefire. “All of us need to understand that violence is not an answer, but an inclusive politics,” he said. With PM Imran Khan’s visit, Ghani said a foundation of trust has been established to continue the journey towards sustainable peace. He announced to visit Pakistan in near future on the invitation of Prime Minister Khan. The Afghan president mentioned that during his meeting with Imran Khan, the two sides agreed that respect for Holy Prophet (PBUH) was in the hearts and minds of every Muslim and stressed that the world must differentiate between the ‘negative comments’ from ‘freedom of expression’. During the visit, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed on a timeline for actions on joint intelligence services-led work against anti-peace elements, proposals for refugees’ return and further enhancing the regional connectivity. The timeframe for the said actions was agreed in a comprehensive document “A Shared Vision between Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to Support Peace and Stability in Both Countries and the Wider Region” issued during the maiden visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Kabul. The Shared Vision document is aimed at advancing a forward-looking cooperative partnership between the two countries for political, economic and people-to-people exchanges. According to the two-part document, by December 15, 2020, both the countries would be re-energizing joint intelligence services-led work on analyzing, mapping and cooperating against enemies of peace and those undermining the peace process. By January 1, 2021, the two countries would formulate a joint proposal for refugees’ return. Similarly, both the sides agreed for a joint proposal to enhance regional connectivity by January 1, 2021, in a way which strengthens not only both Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also the wider region. Besides other senior officials and cabinet ministers, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hameed also accompanied the prime minister during the visit.