Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Leader of Hezb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, along with a delegation will be arriving in the federal capital on Monday (today) on a three-day visit as part of ongoing efforts seeking an end to the lingering unrest in Afghanistan.
This is the second high-level visit from Afghanistan after the recent arrival of Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghan Peace Council.
"During the visit, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will call on the prime minister and president and will meet chairman senate, speaker National Assembly, foreign minister and other dignitaries. He will deliver a talk at a policy think-tank and interact with the media," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Sunday.
The visit of Hekmatyar will provide an opportunity for the exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations as well as people-to-people interaction, the statement added.
"Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal ties with Afghanistan, rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions. Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people" it noted.
The Foreign Office observed that Pakistan had consistently supported an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
The visit of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will further strengthen bilateral ties and people-to-people linkages between the two brotherly countries and help advance efforts for peace and stability, the official hand out said.
Hekmatyar was a Mujahideen leader, who fought against the former Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. He also served as Afghan prime minister in the 1990s.
After the ouster of Taliban regime in 2001 by the United States, the Afghan leader fought against the US-led forces, but in 2016, signed a peace deal with President Asharaf Ghani, ending his 20 years of exile and resistance.
A Pakistani official while commenting on his visit told The Express Tribune that it was part of efforts by Islamabad to engage with all political parties and players in Afghanistan.
The official said that Pakistan had no favourites and would support whatever decision the people of Afghanistan take during the intra-Afghan talks.
The intra-Afghan dialogue is currently underway in Doha and the two sides are trying to evolve consensus on the agenda and rules of engagement.
Although US President Donald Trump wants to see some progress before November 3 elections, the observers are skeptical of any major breakthrough during intra-Afghan dialogue in the near future.
Pakistan played a key role in brokering the deal between the US and Taliban and intra-Afghan dialogue.
The US and Afghan side expect Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire or reduce the current level of violence.
Taliban have so far refused to agree on a truce, insisting ceasefire would be part of the overall agreement reached through talks.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ