Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (File photo)
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (File photo)

Afghan peace, bilateral ties to top Prez Ghani's agenda for Pak visit

ANI | Updated: Jun 04, 2019 19:36 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 4 (ANI): President Ashraf Ghani, who is expected to visit Islamabad at the end of this month, will discuss peace and security issues and bilateral ties with an aim to end the 19 years of conflict in his war-ravaged nation.
Tolo News quoted Ghani as saying that he will visit Pakistan on June 27 on an invitation extended by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan during the sidelines of the 14th summit of Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) held in Makkah last week.
The meeting, which sought to ease growing tensions between the two neighbouring countries, was the first between the two leaders since Khan took office last year.
Ghani further noted that he had a productive meeting with Khan, but still needed practical steps. "'Introductory meetings are not required. There should be practical meetings," Ghani said.
Khan assured Ghani that Islamabad would support Kabul in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
"Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He also underlined Pakistan's firm support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for a political solution in Afghanistan," the statement said.
The statement added that Ghani and Khan will further discuss security and economic issues in the forthcoming visit of the Afghan president to Islamabad.
The Afghan Presidential Palace in a statement said that Ghani and Khan also discussed issues around regional connectivity as well as trade and transit.
It noted that Khan promised to resolve the problem over the closure of Pakistan airspace to Afghan flights between Kabul and New Delhi.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, also visited Pakistan and held meetings with the Prime Minister, Army Chief and other Pakistani officials on Sunday in a renewed push to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.
The US Embassy in Islamabad issued a press released on the conclusion of his visit, saying that better relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are inevitable for lasting peace in the region.
The statement said that the US continues to be encouraged by the role Pakistan has played to advance the peace process in Afghanistan. (ANI)