Pakistan PM’s visit start of talks, says Afghan govt

Pakistan PM’s visit start of talks, says Afghan govt

SAM Report,
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani (L) attends the integration ceremony of TAPI pipeline with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi in Herat, Afghanistan on Feb. 23, 2018

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s trip to Kabul will mark the start of state-to-start talks, Afghan authorities said on Sunday (Apr 1).

Abbasi is likely to visit Afghanistan on Friday (Apr 6) and is expected to hold talks with Afghan officials on areas of mutual interest including security, war against terrorism, peace talks with the Taliban and on further expansion of bilateral relations in economic and political sectors.

According to reports, Abbasi will hold talks with the Afghan leadership and military officials and will appear at a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani.

“The meeting will mark the start of state to state talks, peace, security, economic relations will dominate the agenda at the talks,” said the CEO’s deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal.

“Forging good relations with Pakitan and Iran is in the interests of Afghanistan, so Afghanistan should struggle to mend ties with Pakistan during this tour,” said Mohammad Hashim Alokozai, chairman of the senate’s defense committee.

According to a source, Afghan officials will reiterate their call to Pakistan to contribute effectively and honestly in the fight against terrorism, and to convince the Taliban to enter into dialogue with the Afghan government.

“Pakistan must be made to stop meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and help Afghanistan in peace and stability,” said MP Sayed Ali Kazimi.

“Government must not be deceived by Pakistan, because Pakistan pursues its own goals,” said MP Habiba Danish.

Experts say that it is better for both Afghanistan and Pakistan to avoid the policy of confrontation and instead mend their ties.

This comes ahead of a planned conference of religious scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia. The meeting, which was expected to be held in Jakarta by the end of last month, aimed to discuss ways to forge peace in Afghanistan.

In what was seen as a goodwill gesture, Ghani, after assuming office as president, travelled to Pakistan in a move to bring the Taliban to the peace table. However, efforts failed an instead the Taliban has continued to carry out a series of deadly attacks in various parts of the country including in Kabul that have killed hundreds of people.

Officials have long believed some of these attacks have been planned in Pakistan.

Afghanistan has also accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to Taliban leaders and to the Haqqani network.

Two weeks ago Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua also visited Kabul for talks with Ghani.