Building Peace and Connectivity through Research and Dialogue

First Bilateral Dialogue Between the Heart of Asia Society (HAS) and Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI)

The Heart of Asia Society (HAS) held its first track 2 discussion with the Institute for Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on 2 December. The virtual discussion covered the Afghanistan-Pakistan bilateral relationship and the Afghan peace process, especially the critical role that Pakistan can play in the success of the ongoing process.

Both sides agreed the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship is special and vital to both sides, and that both governments must go from verbal assurances of support and cooperation to taking concrete actions in order to maintain positive momentum in the relationship and sustain the confidence of the people of both countries. Trade, transit trade, regional connectivity and visa facilitation were highlighted as key priority areas for action.

On the peace process, it was highlighted that while the responsibility for reaching a peace agreement belonged to the Afghans who should be left to carry out the necessary negotiations without any interference from outside, Pakistan had a key role to play supporting efforts towards an early ceasefire and taking a leading role on building regional consensus and a guarantee mechanism for a peaceful Afghanistan.

Both sides agreed to continue their bilateral discussions in an objective manner and focus on specific topics in their future dialogues.