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Pak PM condemns Afghan attack, assures support for peace

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday condemned the suicide blast near a university in Kabul that killed at least 29 people and assured his country’s support for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Abbasi was talking to Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal who called on him hours after the deadly suicide bombing near Kabul University and a government hospital, about one kilometer away from the Sakhi shrine, where people had gathered to celebrate Nowruz.

He reiterated his nation’s “support to the efforts for Afghan reconciliation under an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process”, a statement by the Prime Minister’s office said.

The statement said that the two also discussed bilateral relations.

The Prime Minister strongly condemned suicide blast in which many precious lives were lost while a number of people got injured, it said.

“Expressing Pakistan’s desire for strengthening engagement with Afghanistan to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields, the Prime Minister underlined importance of institutional interaction and high level exchanges to enhance bilateral trade, economic cooperation and transit of Afghan goods through Pakistan,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister also stressed the need for deepening connectivity between the two countries and expediting ongoing regional projects including the TurkmenistanAfghanistanPakistanIndia (TAPI) pipeline and the USD 1.6 billion Central Asia-South Asia power project, commonly known by the acronym CASA-1000, currently under construction.

The Afghan Ambassador appreciated Abbasi’s reaffirmation of Pakistan’s support for strengthening of bilateral relations while conveying that President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan leadership also desired meaningful engagement with Pakistan in all areas of interaction, the statement said.

The attack took place near Kabul University and a government hospital, about one kilometer away from the Sakhi shrine, where people had gathered to celebrate Nowruz.

The Islamic State (ISIS) group has claimed the bombing in which at least 29 people were reportedly killed and 52 others injured.

Many in the crowd were minority Shia, according to media reports.

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