Agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Establishing a Shared Vision in Support of Peace and Stability in Both Countries and the Wider Region
KABUL – The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E Imran Khan, arrived in Kabul today. During his visit, high ranking representatives agreed on
“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." The document is of significant importance in outlining the foundational principles of continued cooperation and collaboration between the two states. The shared vision underpins important issues, including cooperation in the fields of peace, security, and economic development as well as people to people connection between the two countries.
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
- High Ranking Representatives of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan met on 30 September 2020 and agreed upon the fundamental principle that Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan should determine a new shared vision to help each other in furtherance of peace and stability in both their countries as well as the wider region.
- They welcomed the start of Afghanistan Peace Process in Doha on 12 September 2020 and hoped that the talks will bring lasting peace and tranquility in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Talks have provided a unique opportunity to Afghans to decide their future without interference.
- They affirm their intention that both countries should look towards a future relationship built on trust, aiming to achieve tangible outcomes from that relationship. They note that closer and fraternal relations between Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan would be beneficial, desirable and achievable, as indeed they had been in the decades before the latest conflict in Afghanistan.
- They agree, a shared vision for Afghanistan and Pakistan should comprise the following core elements:
- That the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan should enjoy a special relationship, founded on predictability, transparency, mutual and full respect for one another's sovereignty, and on expanding and furthering their mutual interests through State-toState mechanisms. That the mutually agreed cooperation framework under APAPPS provides a comprehensive, multi-sectoral mechanism for optimizing bilateral cooperation.
- That the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's posture of "multi alignment" with other countries, pursuing a number of friendly relationships, presents a real opportunity for the two countries to exploit and conversely presents no threat.
- That neither country could achieve lasting peace and stability without peace and stability in the other. Lasting peace implies peace-making which is wholly inclusive, encompasses the whole nation, and respects a democratic constitutional order in which rights of women and men remain inalienable and protected.
- That neither country's territory should be used for malicious purposes against the other's territory, and that both countries should work together to identify and tackle enemies of peace, irreconcilables and those who undermine the peace process.
- That the two countries should further their links and connections in a number of different ways, including through people to people contacts, business to business, government to government and, of particular note, security to security ties.
- That regional connectivity should be broadened and deepened, with an emphasis on trade, free movement of people, goods and services, opening of trade and customs posts, and transport and energy infrastructure development, aiming for regional development dividends greater than what each country might expect to achieve alone.
- That expeditious resolution of the refugee situation, i.e. the safe, timebound and dignified return of refugees, would help the two countries address the humanitarian and socio-economic challenges associated with population displacement. Refugee returns would require resourcing, including donor support from the widest and the most inclusive possible donor community.
Part - 2
Implementation and Next Steps
- The representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan agree that timely progress to meet this vision would require close coordination, a structured dialogue, and willingness to take difficult and courageous decisions. They agree the need for urgency in their approach, with progress needed by the beginning of December 2020. Confirming commitments made on previous occasions, they agree to take rapid action on three main strands of activity, including identifying lead officials to take forward each activity:
- By 15 December 2020: Re-energizing joint intelligence services-led work on analyzing, mapping and cooperating against enemies of peace and those undermining the peace process.
- By 1st January 2021: A joint proposal for refugees return, elevating and intensifying treatment of this issue, to the point where credible and progressive action can start to be taken.
- By 1st January 2021: A joint proposal to further regional connectivity, in a way which strengthens both Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also the wider region.
- On Next Steps:
- That the government leaders of the two countries will visit each other's capital alternately to keep the momentum going. This initiative has commenced with the visit of the Honourable Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Kabul.
- President Ghani would plan a reciprocal visit to Islamabad in the first quarter of 2021.
- That the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will share with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan summary of the key issues that are being discussed during the Afghanistan Peace Process.
- Both sides agreed to keep this shared vision, its commitments, and previous commitments under regular review, to ensure measurable, clear and irreversible steps towards furthering closer and more productive relations between their two countries.