Pakistani premier to head to Kabul on landmark visit
06 April, 2018, 21:24 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
Pakistan had brokered the first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government and Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015.
Abbasi will be seeking to lessen mistrust with Afghanistan, whose leadership has repeatedly held Pakistan responsible for allegedly offering safe haven to leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.
Earlier, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: "The Prime Minister's visit is taking place in the backdrop of Pakistan's support to President Ghani's offer of peace talks with the Taliban for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and strengthening bilateral engagement", read a statement issued by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Issues including counter-terror cooperation, the regional situation, repatriation of Afghan refugees and combating drug production will be discussed between the two sides.
PM Abbasi is visiting the Afghan capital at the invitation of Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, according to the Foreign Office.
Ghani called stability the key to regional peace, saying decisions by leaders of the two countries could guarantee the security and prosperity of their coming generations.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed that they would not allow terrorists to use their soil for anti-state activities against each other.
At a meeting with a high-level Pakistani delegation led by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the Presidential Palace here, Ghani underlined the need for joint counter-terrorism efforts. Pakistan also aspires to deepen people-to-people contacts, the statement said.
US Department of State's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells completed a week-long visit to Pakistan on April 3 where she held meeting with top civil and military officials.
Since then, several attempts have been made, with little success, to resume the stalled peace process by a four-nation group comprising of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the USA and China.
The two sides conferred on initiating work on the Quetta-Kandahar and Peshawar-Jalalabad railway lines, as well as the Peshawar-Jalalabad-Kabul highway.
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