Pakistan’s envoy to Afghanistan confirms trip, adding the prime minister will meet the Afghan president and discuss bilateral ties
Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to travel to Kabul on Thursday (tomorrow) to meet Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, according to Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmed Khan.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan visiting Kabul tomorrow for meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss strengthening of bilateral ties,” envoy Mansoor said in a posting on Twitter.
Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gran Hewad had announced Khan’s scheduled visit last week, claiming it would focus on the ongoing Afghan peace process, as well as efforts to strengthen political, security, trade, and economic ties. He also confirmed that President Ghani had extended an invitation to Khan during a telephonic conversation between the two in October.
This marks the first visit to Afghanistan by Prime Minister Khan since he assumed office in August 2018. While the visit was planned earlier, it also follows a statement by the U.S. that it was planning to withdraw 2,500 troops from the war-torn state by Jan. 15, raising concerns about the potential impact on the ongoing peace talks between the insurgents and the elected government in Kabul.
On Sunday, Hewad also rejected allegations by the Pakistan Army that India was using Afghan soil to foment terror in Pakistan. In a statement, he said that Kabul would like to see a U.N. commission to probe “the root causes of terrorism in Afghanistan and to examine Pakistan’s claims.”
Khan has long maintained that there can be no military solution to the Afghan conflict, advocating dialogue. In recent months, he has stressed that the people of Afghanistan should embrace this opportunity for a political solution, adding that peace and stability in Afghanistan would be beneficial for all of South Asia and would boost trade and economic cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad.