Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pakistani PM to visit Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen troubled ties

Pakistani PM to visit Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen troubled ties

Guard of honour also presented to the prime minister.

Pakistan had brokered the first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government and Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015.

Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrives in Afghanistan today for the start of talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The resumption of peace talks dimmed further after Mullah Omer's successor, Mullah Mansur, was killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan near Afghan border in 2016.

"The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat".

Pakistan urged Afghanistan to focus on taking effective counter-terrorism actions including plugging of large gaps existing along the Afghan side of Pakistan-Afghanistan border to prevent the targeting of Pakistani civilians and security forces by terrorists from Afghan soil.

Military officials of the two countries met on April 5 in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, where Pakistan shared details of the operations with Afghanistan, the ministry said.

Ghani also invited Pakistan to forget the past and begins new era to bring peace in the region.

She noted the meaningful role that Pakistan, partnering with the United States, could play in achieving a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan, a press release by the USA embassy had said.

The Prime Minister was introduced with the Afghan cabinet members after the welcome ceremony.

Abbasi's planned visit to Kabul comes as the Afghan foreign ministry Thursday accused Pakistan's air force of violating the country's airspace and bombing its border areas.

"Obviously, for there to be stability in Afghanistan there needs to be a strong relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan", said U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells on Monday, wrapping a week-long visit to Islamabad.

The two leaders agreed that the APAPPS would provide 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.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also held a meeting with the Afghan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and discussed bilateral issues including fight against terrorism, reduction of violence, peace, shelling on Afghan territory, exemption of regulatory tax on Afghan exports and return of Afghan refugees.

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