Sunday Jul 25, 2021
The meeting between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghanistan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib was facilitated by an Arab country, sources told The News.
“Nawaz Sharif and Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib's meeting was facilitated by a Middle Eastern Muslim country,” sources said, adding that the planning of the meeting was done before the Afghan delegation arrived in London.
Sources, with the knowledge of the visit, said that a diplomat from the Arab country advised Nawaz to hold the meeting. They added that the Arab country that facilitated the meeting has "long-standing relations with Pakistan."
Meanwhile, sources within the Sharif family also confirmed that the former prime minister agreed to hold the meeting at the Arab country’s request.
The sources said that Nawaz informed the Kabul government that the Pakistani people want peaceful ties with Afghanistan. They added that Nawaz told the Afghan officials Pakistan desires a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Pakistan.
The News had reached out to Nawaz's office in London but no comment was received.
However, former finance minister Ishaq Dar said that several months ago an Afghan government representative got in touch on behalf of President Ashraf Ghani to convey regards to Nawaz and to ask about his well-being.
Dar, rejecting the criticism directed towards the meeting, said that the PTI-led government's reaction showed how obsessed it was with Nawaz.
“During our meeting, both sides focused on the historic relations between the two countries which are tied through history, culture, and religion and have lived side by side," the former finance minister said.
The PML-N leader said Prime Minister Imran Khan's government has caused "irreparable" damage to Pakistan on several fronts, be it foreign policy or economy.
Everyone knows that the foreign policy of the current regime is a disaster for Pakistan and is run by "trolls", the former finance minister said.
"Nawaz Sharif met the Afghan delegation at their request and tried to do damage control that has been caused to Pakistan by the incumbent incompetent government in the last few weeks," he said.
Nawaz informed the delegation that the Pakistanis aspired for a peaceful relationship with Afghanistan and would like to see stability and prosperity there, Dar said, as stability in the war-torn country is linked with that of Pakistan and vice versa.
Dar claimed the Afghan delegation had thanked Nawaz for doing "everything during his tenures to improve relations with Afghanistan".
Dar said the former premier had taken a delegation, comprising the then army chief, ISI chief, and three federal ministers for a dialogue with the Afghan president and his team in order to resolve any differences for the sake of cordial relations between the two Islamic States.
"What we observe today is an immature and visionless government, issuing childish policy statements which are harming the interests of Pakistan all over the world. Pakistan stands diplomatically isolated and Nawaz Sharif’s vision and efforts are to bring Pakistan out of this isolation and place her at par with other nations with dignity and honor," he added.
Nawaz, top Afghan officials discuss meet in London
London-based PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif had a meeting with Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and State Minister for Peace Sayed Sadat Naderi.
The National Security Council of Afghanistan (NSCA) gave an update about the meeting on Twitter Saturday, saying that the Afghan state minister for peace and NSA discussed "matters of mutual interest" with the former Pakistan prime minister.
The officials on both sides agreed that they would both benefit from the "policy of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs," the NSCA was quoted as saying by Indian news agency ANI.
They also noted that "strengthening democracy" will put both neighbours on the path towards stability and prosperity.
Soon after news broke of the meeting, government representatives took to Twitter to condemn the move.
The meeting was condemned by Federal Ministers Shireen Mazari, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry and SAPM Shahbaz Gill.
While PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, responding to the criticism, said that she doesn't think the PTI government can "comprehend" the "essence of diplomacy".
"Pakistan’s peaceful existence with its neighbours is the very foundation of Nawaz Sharif’s ideology for which he has worked tirelessly," Maryam wrote on Twitter.