LAHORE: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is in Pakistan on a two-day visit, reached Lahore on Friday after spending the first day in the federal capital. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar received him at the Allama Iqbal International Airport.
Imran, Ghani vow to open new chapter of Pak-Afghan friendship
“We welcome the Afghan president in Lahore from the core of our hearts. President Ghani’s visit to Pakistan is indeed a new chapter in the history of Pak-Afghan ties,” said Buzdar.
The chief minister termed Ghani’s visit to Lahore as a privilege and hoped with his visit, relations between Islamabad and Kabul would also improve.
“Pakistan and Afghanistan need to work together for the sake of peace in the region. Peace is important for the stability and prosperity of both countries. When Pak-Afghan relations will improve, business affairs between us will also flourish,” said Buzdar.
President Ghani, on this occasion, said that he was happy to be in Lahore.
Ghani arrived in Pakistan on Thursday. He is leading a high-powered delegation to the country in a first visit in almost four years as part of the latest push by the two estranged neighbours to improve their troubled relationship.
On Thursday, the Afghan president and Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to bury the past misgivings and open a “new chapter of friendship and cooperation” between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The upbeat statement came following a one-on-one meeting between Ghani and Imran here at the Prime Minister House.
The Afghan president last toured Islamabad in December 2015 to attend a regional conference on Afghanistan but after that, he repeatedly spurned invitations from Pakistan before he finally agreed to travel at the request of PM Imran.
Afghan security czar visits Pakistan to remove irritants in ties
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained tense because of a trust deficit between the two neighbours. Kabul for long has kept accusing Islamabad of supporting the Afghan Taliban.
On the contrary, Pakistan has its own list of reservations that include the Afghan government’s lack of action against groups involved in cross-border attacks.
Ghani meets Punjab governor
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at Governor House in Lahore on Friday.
In the one-on-one meeting, matters of mutual interest and cooperation for the promotion of peace were discussed. Later, President Ghani offered Friday prayer at Governor’s House mosque.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani’s visit to the cultural capital of Punjab, LHR will have significant impact on qualitative transformation of Pak-Afghan ties. We welcome the Afghan president to LHR to set a new path for regional peace & prosperity. #LongLivePakAfghanbrotherhood pic.twitter.com/akKOF5RHWs
— Mohammad Sarwar (@ChMSarwar) June 28, 2019
Ghani is also scheduled to meet leading traders and entrepreneurs in Lahore. He will also visit Badshahi Mosque and Shahi Qila.