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Pak PM arrives in Afghanistan on day-long visit


PM Abbasi will have in-depth consultations with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr 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.

Pakistan said Abbasi welcomed Ghani's vision for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to the Taliban.

"The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat", the statement said. "They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other".

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 also aspires to deepen people to people contacts. "They emphasised early completion of TAPI and CASA-1000 projects".

On his arrival, a guard of honour was presented to the PM. The operations took place on the Pakistani side of the border, Pakistan said. The two leaders agreed to continue the exchange of high-level visits.

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Abbasi also met with CEO Abdullah Abdullah. Pakistan denies the charge, alleging that it is Afghan forces that offer sanctuary to elements of the Pakistani Taliban.

Afghanistan and the U.S. have blamed Pakistan for allegedly providing safe havens to elements of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.

Afghanistan should focus on plugging gaps on its side of the border and refrain from the "blame game", the ministry said. In this regard, the Prime Minister would 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.

The delegation comprised senior civil and military officials, including Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Shamshad Mirza.

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 US and China.

During the trip, Ashraf Ghani has invited Pakistan's prime minister to "initiate state to state comprehensive dialogue" for the restoration of peace and solidarity in the region.

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