PM Abbasi reaches Kabul on one-day visit to 'reduce mistrust'

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will travel to Afghanistan on Friday on a day-long visit during which he is likely discuss a range of issues, including ways to facilitate talks with the Taliban. However, as U.S. policy towards both countries has changed dramatically, primarily with Washington suspending security aid to Islamabad, the talks no doubt mark an effort to try to forge a new path without the backing of the US.

The statement said information about the ongoing "operations is shared with the Afghan security forces on a regular basis". Any success in this regard will require additional worldwide pressure to be placed on Pakistan's defence and intelligence establishment.

In this meeting, the two sides agreed that delegations of Afghanistan and Pakistan will prepare a timeline and mechanism for the return of Afghan refugees to the country.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. He also announced waiver of additional regulatory duty on Afghan export to Pakistan to help lift the Afghan economy, the statement said further.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to regional connectivity as they had done in Herat on 23rd February 2018 while jointly inaugurating the entry of TAPI Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan. "The two sides are also engaged in undertaking major bilateral rail-road connectivity projects", read the statement issued by the Ministry.

Besides the Afghan president, the prime minister will also meet Afghan Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah.

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Afghanistan should focus on plugging gaps on its side of the border and refrain from the "blame game", the ministry said.

Abbasi will be seeking to lessen mistrust with Afghanistan, whose leadership has repeatedly held Pakistan responsible for allegedly offering safe haven to leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is heading the delegation accompanies with civil and military officials including Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Shamshad Mirza.

The statement said Ghani and Abbasi held a one on one meeting followed by delegation level talks at the Presidential Palace.

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 made a decision to operationalize the five working groups under APAPPS.

During the trip, Ashraf Ghani has invited Pakistan's prime minister to "initiate state to state comprehensive dialogue" for the restoration of peace and solidarity in the region.

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