Breaking: Pakistan’s PM in Kabul to discuss bilateral ties, militancy
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in Kabul, where he is expected to discuss bilateral ties and militancy which is plaguing the both counties.
According to reports, Khan landed in Kabul on Thursday for his first visit to Pakistan’s northwestern neighbor, where he will hold meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and other senior Afghan officials.
Khan is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his adviser on commerce and investment, Razzaq Dawood.
A Pakistani statement said the focus of the talks would be further deepening of “the fraternal bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Afghan peace process, and regional economic development and connectivity”.
A spokesman for the Afghan presidential palace, Dawa Khan Minapal, said the main purpose of the visit is to deepen bilateral trade and ties, but the fight against militancy in the region will also be at the top of the agenda.
A source in the Afghan presidential palace said peace talks between Afghan government negotiators and the Afghan Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha will also be in focus during Khan’s visit.
This is Khan’s first visit to Afghanistan since assuming office over two years ago.
Khan: Pakistan will do whatever possible to reduce violence
Pakistan’s prime minister told reporters outside Afghanistan’s presidential palace after meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that his country will do anything to reduce the escalation of violence between the warring sides in neighboring Afghanistan.
“We notice with concern that the level of violence despite the talks in Qatar … is rising,” Khan said, adding, “Pakistan will do everything, whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce this violence and in fact move towards a ceasefire.”
Khan added that it was Pakistan that first persuaded the Taliban to talk to Washington in 2018 for negotiations that eventually yielded a withdrawal deal for all foreign forces.
He also highlighted Islamabad’s efforts made to help start the peace talks in Doha, saying, “We the people and government of Pakistan have only one concern, and that concern is … that we want peace (in Afghanistan).”