PM, army chief headed to Kabul tomorrow to discuss three-point agenda


ISLAMABAD: Upon the invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif together with a high-level delegation will depart for Afghanistan tomorrow (May 12) for talks pertaining to bilateral and regional matters. 

Sources privy to development told The Express Tribune that three major issues would be discussed during visit, which will mark the premier’s second visit to Afghanistan and the first after the installation of National Unity Government in Kabul.

Read: Refugee registration: Afghan team in Pakistan for talks

As per an official statement released by the PM House, a high-level meeting was held earlier today (Monday) to discuss Pak-Afghan relations. The meeting also prepared the agenda for Tuesday’s visit to Kabul. It was reiterated, in today’s high-level huddle that improving bilateral ties between the neighbouring countries was a priority.

Although the official handout did not lay out the agenda of the visit, sources said that civil military leadership would discuss three major issues.

Read: Need for a Pak-Afghan oversight commission

Sources revealed that after a breakthrough in ongoing talks between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government, Pakistani delegation will support and discuss next level of talks between the two.

The second issue the delegation will bring up pertains to the alleged presence of India’s spy agency RAW in Afghanistan and its alleged activities in Pakistan, sources added.

A recent corps commander conference headed by Raheel Sharif expressed concerns over RAW’s activities in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan.

Read: RAW formed to wipe Pakistan off the map of the world: Khawaja Asif 

Lastly, operation Zarb-e-Azb would also be discussed and information about TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah and other terrorists will also come under discussion.

Apart from the army chief, the prime minister will be accompanied by Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and other senior officials.

During the visit, a lunch will be hosted for the premier and his delegation and the premier is also scheduled to meet with the Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah.

“During the visit, the prime minister will have tête-à-tête with President Ashraf Ghani, who will also host a lunch for the Prime Minister,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The statement further added that “Building close cooperative relations with Afghanistan is a high priority in Pakistan’s foreign policy and a vital component of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood.”

Read: Pakistan asks Afghanistan to handover APS suspects

The visit is said to further strengthen bilateral relations and help intensify common endeavors in the pursuit of durable peace, stability and prosperity in the region.


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