Khar to visit Afghanistan on Feb 1: Report

Published: January 29, 2012

Khar asked by Prime Minister Gilani to travel to Kabul ahead of a trilateral summit on the future of Afghanistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will visit Afghanistan on February 1 to discuss reconciliation efforts there, a Pakistani newspaper reported on Sunday.   

Khar was asked earlier this month by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to travel to Kabul ahead of a trilateral summit on the future of Afghanistan.

The News reported that Khar would lead a small delegation on a one day trip to Kabul on February 1. No further details were given and officials were not immediately available for comment.

The United States sees Pakistan as critical to its efforts to wind down the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led Nato forces are battling a stubborn Taliban insurgency.

Khar told Reuters on January 19 that Pakistan’s ties with the United States remain on hold after a Nato cross-border air attack and that Washington should not push Islamabad to go after militant groups or bring them to the Afghan peace process.

Kabul says Pakistan FM to visit for talks on Taliban

Pakistan and Afghanistan will open a new phase of cooperation over the Taliban insurgency with the visit of Islamabad’s foreign minister this week, an official said Sunday.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will visit Kabul on Wednesday, Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told a news conference.

“This visit will mark a new cooperation relations phase between the two countries,” he said, adding that Khar would hold talks with Afghan Foreign Minister Zulmai Rasoul and President Hamid Karzai.

“Both sides will discuss the fight against terrorism and Pakistan’s essential support to the peace process in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan plays a key role in Afghan peace process and Afghanistan need a sincere effort of our neighbouring country toward peace negotiations,” Mosazai said.

Khar’s visit comes after Pakistan made overtures to Afghanistan to resume talks over the Taliban which broke down following the assassination of Kabul’s chief peace envoy, Burhanuddin Rabbani, in September, officials said.

Karzai accused Pakistan of responsibility for the murder and last month accused Pakistan of sabotaging all negotiations with the Taliban.

The Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, announced earlier this month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible talks with the United States.

Karzai’s government gave its blessing to the move, but Kabul, wary of being sidelined in talks between the insurgents and Washington, has insisted on a central role in any negotiations.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Jan 29, 2012 - 1:33PM

    Pakistan has always taken Afghanistan as a “HAANDI” and always keeps it cooking and boiling at a certain level in the name of strategic depth

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:19PM

    No one is interested to know what Khar is doing nowadays, as there are mire important matters to concentrate rather than to know as what the Foreign Minister of Pakistan is up to?

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  • ZKhan
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:37PM

    One should not mind as all of us remain well wishers of Pakistan. Level of knowlege and exposure to various aspects contribute in framing the mind set of any one. Few weeks ago the ex FM of Pakistan, S M Qureshi, clearly pointed out the MS Khar always felt uncomfortable in Foreign Ministry. Barring few who believe that the 35-year-old first woman FM will portray a softer image of Pakistan abroad, majority of Pakistanis believe that Khar was inexperienced and misfit for the job of a top diplomat at a time when the country is confronted with the multitude of problems inside and abroad. Her critics say that she holds a degree in hotel management and has only a year plus of experience in foreign affairs. Afghanistan is a complicated game. Pak Army, untill now has not given any indication to review its threat perception strategy in the area. In such a scenario what Ms Khar will gain from this visit is any bodys guess. Looks like a formality so that President Karzai and US can show to world that Pakistan is again coming on board for the Afghan solution. Good Luck Ms Khar!Recommend

  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 29, 2012 - 6:32PM

    @Colonel:
    Do you really wanna make Pakistan sandwiched between two hostile neighbours

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  • Jan 29, 2012 - 7:04PM

    @BS.Detecter:
    I stated the fact.

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  • saba kamran
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Miss Khar i advice you that you should also discuss IED’s that have killed many in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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  • Shakky
    Jan 31, 2012 - 3:01AM

    Now, now, one shouldn’t denigrate Ms. Khar for trying to resolve the Afghan crisis. I’m sure that her years of experience (is it one or two years?) will stand her in good stead. Anyway, if the United Nations can have Shakira as its goodwill ambassador, there’s no reason why we can’t have the Birkin bag toting Ms. Khar as our foreign minister. Its not like either one is really responsible for policy making.

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