Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to visit Pakistan next week

FO confirms Ghani will be in Islamabad for the Heart of Asia meeting on December 9

Kamran Yousuf December 01, 2015
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: In a crucial development against the backdrop of recent hiccup in ties between the two neighbours, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced on Tuesday he will visit Pakistan next week.

A Foreign Office statement confirmed that the Afghan President and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will jointly inaugurate the regional conference on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad.

"I look forward to the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad, for jointly inaugurating the Heart of Asia meeting on December 9," the Foreign Office quoted the prime minister as saying.

Further, PM Nawaz is reported to have said he is looking forward to  discussions on the sidelines of the meeting on "how the two countries and the US and China can work together to pick up the thread of the reconciliation process from where it was left off in July 2015."

Afghan president ‘accepts invitation’ to meet PM Nawaz

On Monday, PM Nawaz met Ghani on the sidelines of the world climate summit in Paris amid heightened tensions over Kabul's accusations that Islamabad aided the Taliban in their brief capture of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in late September. .

The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to work together to revive stalled peace talks with Taliban insurgents after meeting on the sidelines of a climate change conference in Paris, officials said.

Afghan peace process: Nawaz, Ghani agree to take ‘legitimate’ stakeholders onboard

Pakistan hosted a historic first round of peace negotiations in July. But the talks stalled soon thereafter when the Taliban belatedly confirmed the death of their longtime leader Mullah Omar.

The United States and China have been pushing for the process to restart, but frosty ties between Islamabad and Kabul have been hampering those efforts.

A government statement late Monday said Ghani and Sharif had discussed the negotiations while they were in Paris. "Both leaders agreed to work with all those who would enter such a process as legitimate political actors and act, alongside the Afghan government, against those who refuse to take the path of peace," the statement said.

Ghani says Pak-Afghan ties not brotherly

To this end, the forthcoming meeting of Heart of Asia – Istanbul process, to be held in Islamabad on December 9, 2015 provides an opportunity to evolve a common roadmap for result-oriented reconciliation in Afghanistan, the statement added.


stevenson | 5 years ago | Reply @never say never: It doesn't matter whether he does or doesn't like Pakistan. He has to take back millions of refugees which cost the Pakistani economy dearly and stop allowing Afghanistan to be a base for cross border terrorism against Pakistan. After all former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on record for confirming that India uses Afghanistan as a base for decades to sir up trouble in Pakistan. If Afghanistan wants to create trade routes with Iran it is better for Pakistan so that the border can be closed and protected.
Aziz | 5 years ago | Reply Maybe it is time to write an Asian "Heart of Darkness". In Afghanistan. We need another Joseph Conrad.
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