Pakistani PM to visit Afghanistan on Friday

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will undertake a day-long visit to Kabul on Friday (today) to hold in-depth consultations with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah on economic, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, the Foreign Office announced on Thursday.

Afghanistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said, "Afghanistan warns that continuing violations of global norms. will have further consequences on the relations between the two countries", reported RadioFreeEurope Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). The two leaders agreed to continue the exchange of high-level visits.

The visit comes against the backdrop of Islamabad's support for Mr. Ghani's offer of peace talks with the Taliban.

In February, the Afghan President had made a peace offer to the Taliban in the Kabul Process Conference, which also included the recognition of the militant group as a political entity. The two leaders also agreed to move forward on Chaman-Kandahar-Herat railway line, Peshawar-Kabul Motorway, and other connectivity projects which can help realize the tremendous potential of South and Central Asian Regions by providing shortest access through the sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi.

On Friday, Pakistan dubbed the allegation as "baseless" that it violated Afghan airspace, however. Pakistan has urged Afghanistan to stop the blame game and asked for its co-operation in combating terrorism, as well as ensuring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. He expressed the view while addressing a gathering at Pakistan's embassy to mark Pakistan's National Day.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is heading the delegation accompanies with civil and military officials including Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Shamshad Mirza.

The two leaders agreed that Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) provided a useful framework for broad based and structured engagement on all issues of mutual interest and chose to operationalize the five working groups under APAPPS.

During his meeting with Ghani, the Afghan president invited PM Abbasi to "initiate a state-to-state comprehensive dialogue".

  • Jon Douglas