In his first visit to Kabul, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He also extended an invitation to president Ghani to visit Pakistan “at his earliest convenience.”
After the meeting with President Ghani, PM Abbasi and his entourage arrived at the office of Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah for consultations.
A day earlier, Afghanistan alleged that Pakistan jets had dropped four bombs in the Afghan border province of Kunar, and warned that such strikes could damage relations.
Pakistan responded that its security forces were countering Afghan-based militant groups on its own side of the border.
Following today’s meeting, Ghani, in a statement, said he raised the issue of border violations with Abbasi and stressed that the situation was not helpful to either side, Reuters reported.
Earlier in the day, PM Abbasi reached the Afghan capital accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and National Security Adviser Nasir Khan Janjua.
The Afghan President received the premier at the Afghan Presidential Palace where he was also presented a guard of honour.
The premier is scheduled to hold meetings on issues pertaining to counter-terror cooperation, the regional situation, repatriation of Afghan refugees and combating drug production.
The two countries are key parties to a trans-regional gas pipeline aiming to connect Central Asia with South Asia among other regional trade and power projects.
Hours before the prime minister’s visit, Afghanistan accused the Pakistan Air Force of violating its airspace. Islamabad rejected the reports and advised Kabul to “refrain from blame game”.
The prime minister’s visit is taking place in the backdrop of Pakistan’s support to President Ghani’s offer of peace talks with the Taliban for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as strengthening bilateral engagement.
Islamabad had earlier reiterated support for development in Afghanistan and is expected to pledge further resources for education, health and infrastructure during the PM’s visit, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.