The red carpet was rolled out as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Kabul on Friday.A guard of honour was presented to the premier at the Afghan presidential palace upon arrival.National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Khyber Pakhtunkwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, among other officials, are accompanying the premier on his day-long visit to the Afghan capital.
The delegation is expected to discuss the political and security situation of Afghanistan with the country’s top leadership.
The visit follows an invitation by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and comes in the backdrop of Pakistan’s support to Ghani’s peace offering to the Taliban and wish of strengthening bilateral engagement with Islamabad
During the visit, Abbasi will hold in-depth consultations with Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah on matters of mutual interest, including strengthening of bilateral political, economic, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, repatriation of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and narco-trade, Afghan peace process and regional political and security situation, said a statement by the Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday night.
Foreign Secretary Janjua meets Afghan president in Kabul
“Pakistan will continue to support Afghan government’s development efforts through capacity building in infrastructure, educational and health sectors in Afghanistan,” it said further.
The statement further read that Islamabad also aspires to deepen people-to-people contacts and 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. Pakistan and Afghanistan 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) to promote regional economic integration.
Abbasi had visited Afghanistan in February this year to inaugurate the TAPI gas pipeline project. The two sides are also engaged in undertaking major bilateral rail-road connectivity projects.