Ghani-Nawaz meeting in Paris will be icebreaker: Khattak

Says Afghan leader’s participation in Heart of Asia to depend on outcome of Paris meeting

Tahir Khan November 30, 2015
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Dilkusha Palace in Kabul on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s participation in the upcoming ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Islamabad will depend on the outcome of his meeting with the Pakistani prime minister in Paris, says a Pashtun leader who recently met the Afghan leader in Kabul.

Senior Awami National Party leader Afrasiab Khattak confirmed that President Ghani has agreed to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in the French capital. “President Ashraf Ghani has officially confirmed to us that he will be meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” Khattak told The Express Tribune.

Afghan president ‘accepts invitation’ to meet PM Nawaz

Khattak was a part of a delegation of Pashtun political leaders that met the Afghan president in Kabul on Thursday. The delegation comprised ANP President Asfandyar Wali, PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Qaumi Wattan Party leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and former K-P governor Engineer Shaukatullah.

“The Paris meeting will be an icebreaker. Further interactions between the two states will depend on improvement in their bilateral relationship in the coming days,” Khattak said when asked if the Afghan leader will attend the ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process scheduled for Dec 8 in Islamabad.

Nawaz Sharif and Ashraf Ghani are set to attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. The prime minister arrived in the French capital on Sunday from Malta where he represented Pakistan in the Commonwealth Summit. President Ghani was reportedly scheduled to leave for Paris Sunday evening.

Elusive peace: Ghani phones Nawaz

The Pakistani Pashtun leaders were invited by the Afghan government for talks on bilateral relations, focusing on peace and security in both countries and the region. They also attended a meeting organised to honour the late Pashtun nationalist leader Afzal Khan Lala.

Unnamed Afghan officials told the media in Kabul on Saturday that the Pashtun leaders had requested the Afghan president to meet Premier Nawaz to end the existing stalemate in the relationship between the two neighbours.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th,  2015.


US CENTCOM | 5 years ago | Reply It is good to read that efforts are ongoing to improve the ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is easy to let the blame game overtake the shared peace goals in the region, as has been the case in recent past. We should encourage the regional partners for setting up the meeting, and hope both nations will iron out any differences for the betterment of the region. We’ve said this many times before, but it is in the best of our nations (U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan) to have a healthy working relationship. Moreover, if you look at the big picture, the improved relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan will likely increase economic and trade cooperation, which is also an area of shared interest between both countries. Ali Khan Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM
Salim Khan | 6 years ago | Reply Just shows how low our power has become when Pakistan has to plead, request and prey to have a meeting with our leader.
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