LAHORE: President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday welcomed the ceasefire between terror group Taliban and the federal government in Afghanistan during Eidul Fitr which is expected to commence on June 16.
The Taliban have agreed to a three-day ceasefire with Afghan government forces coinciding with Eid later this month, days after a unilateral ceasefire was ordered by the government.
Reacting to the agreement, Shehbaz welcomed the initiatives for the ceasefire in Afghanistan during Eid-ul-Fitr, mooted first by the Afghan government and then also by the Afghan Taliban.
He said, “It is a positive first step towards promoting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The PML-N government had played a pivotal role in initiating steps for peace in Afghanistan, including hosting the first ever direct, face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban in Murree in July 2015.”
“Should the PML-N return to office after the July 25 general elections, it will be our top priority to promote peace in Afghanistan as peace in Afghanistan is inextricably intertwined with peace and security in Pakistan,” he assured.
Shehbaz vowed that if given a chance, his party would work to ensure peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said, “People and valiant armed forces of Pakistan have paid a heavy price four peace as over 70,000 soldiers and civilians have been martyred and wounded since the 9/11.”
He lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Army in spreading peace through their sacrifices in the war on terror. “No country has sacrificed more than Pakistan in the campaign against terrorism and we have fought the most successful inland war against terrorism,” he said.
Moreover, the PML-N president prayed for the continuation of peace talks to cement enduring peace. He hoped, “I pray for enduring peace in Afghanistan with the hope that the ceasefire initiative by both sides, the first since 2001, will achieve positive results, InshaAllah.”