Pak PM to visit Afghanistan tomorrow

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will travel to Afghanistan tomorrow on a day-long visit during which he is likely discuss a range of issues, including ways to facilitate talks with the Taliban.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said Abbasi was visiting Kabul on an invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

"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," it said.

Abbasi will have in-depth consultations with Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on matters of mutual interest, including strengthening bilateral political, economic, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, return of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and narco-trade, Afghan peace process and regional political and security situation.

He will also meet senior Afghan political leaders.

Pakistan will continue to support Afghanistan's developments efforts through capacity building in infrastructure, educational and health sectors in Afghanistan. Pakistan also aspires to deepen people-to-people contacts, the statement said.

Prime Minister Abbasi would also discuss with the Afghan leadership ways to facilitate travel between the two countries, assist education and medical treatment of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and expand trade and transit facilitation between the two countries.

To promote regional economic integration, the two countries are participating in key trans-regional initiatives namely Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000).

Abbasi recently joined the Afghan president in Herat to inaugurate the TAPI gas pipeline project. The two sides are also engaged in undertaking major bilateral rail-road connectivity projects.

The objective of Abbasi's visit to Afghanistan is to strengthen the positive momentum in bilateral relations and help augment joint endeavours in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and economic prosperity in the two countries, and the region, according to FO statement.

Afghanistan and the US have blamed Pakistan for allegedly providing safe havens to elements of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network. Pakistan denies the charge, alleging that it is Afghan forces that offer sanctuary to elements of the Pakistani Taliban.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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