Islamabad: Pakistan and Afghanistan will exchange highest-level visits soon to hammer out a deal to improve bilateral ties, The Nation learnt. Senior officials at the foreign ministry said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accepted an invitation by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to visit Kabul.
An official said, “The dates will be finalised through diplomatic channels. We also expect President Ashraf Ghani to return the visit later.” He added, “The highest-level talks are aimed at discussing the misunderstandings and trying to find ways for improving the ties.”
Earlier, President Ashraf Ghani has extended an official invitation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to visit Afghanistan . In a tweet, he said the invitation would initiate state-to-state comprehensive dialogue between the two countries.
All through the recent tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan , the United States has been pressing both the sides to resolve the issues on the table instead of engaging in a conflict. But the US itself preferred to use force against the militants, ignoring Pakistan’s calls for peace talks.
Pakistan says it is against confrontation but expected Afghanistan to act against the terrorists’ sanctuaries. After Pakistan’s serious reaction to the wave of terror last year, the two sides settled for a tentative peace agreement when Kabul promised to act against terrorists’ sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.
However, they also handed a list of 32 alleged training centres inside Pakistan .
There were reports Afghanistan was also preparing to carry out “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan in response to Pakistan’s action along the border. But keeping in mind Pakistan’s military strength, Kabul never opted for this step.
Pakistan forces had already moved heavy artillery and military equipment closer to Pak-Afghan border to stop infiltration and destroy the militants’ hideouts along the frontier amid the Afghan threats.
This week, however, Pakistan and Afghanistan reiterated their commitment to peace and stability of each other and agreed to work in a cooperative framework for a brighter future.
The understanding was reached at the meetings of National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua with Afghan leadership during his visit to Kabul, said an official statement.
The NSA had “elaborate and successful meetings” with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, his counterpart Haneef Atmar and others. “By addressing each other’s concerns, both sides expressed their resolve to work together and enhance cooperation to improve bilateral relations,” said the statement.
Janjua termed President Ghani’s invitation to Prime Minister Abbasi a “good omen”, which would help in bringing both the countries more closer in the war against terrorism. President Ghani pinned strong hopes with Pakistan , and said.
“We have made a sincere and serious offer of peace, and together we have to make the best of it by rising beyond past. Let’s not remain prisoners of [the] past and let’s secure our future with the aim not to win the war but to end it for which Pakistan should help,” the Afghan president said.
He also expressed strong support for regional connectivity with Central Asian Republics (CARS) to reap the benefits of ideal geo-strategic locations of Afghanistan and Pakistan .
“Without each other, we are not complete,” President Ghani added.