Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai had another round of meetings with the Premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday on matters of common interest relating to bilateral relations; Afghan peace process; and the regional situation.

Mr. Karzai demanded the release of Taliban prisoners including Mullah Biradar and also asked for Pakistan’s help in talks between the Afghan High Peace Council and the Taliban. The Afghanistan President had arrived on Monday, originally for a day long visit but Mr. Sharif had requested him to extend his stay in Pakistan so that the two leaders could continue to “confer on matters of common interest in the bilateral and regional context”.

An official statement said both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and broaden Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. It was agreed to continue to work together for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. To this end, the two sides also agreed to maintain and enhance mutual engagement on issues of regional peace and stability. In the continuing spirit of bonhomie, Mr. Sharif hosted a luncheon this afternoon in honour of Mr. Karzai in Murree.

Mr. Karzai reiterated his invitation to Mr. Sharif to visit Afghanistan, which was accepted. The dates would be determined later.

During the subsequent meetings held in the hill station of Murree, Mr. Sharif reiterated that Pakistan and Afghanistan have to work closely to bring peace in the region. Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani; Finance Minister Ishaq Dar; and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi were also present on the occasion, an official statement said. Earlier, the two leaders also held a closed door meeting at Islamabad to discuss bilateral issues.