Prime Minister Imran Khan will arrive in Kabul on his maiden visit to Afghanistan today at the invitation of President Ashraf Ghani and is being seen as building on the sustained engagement between the two countries in recent months for enhancing bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
PM Imran had last held a bilateral meeting with Afghanistan’s Ghani on the sidelines of the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah in May 2019.
The prime minister also had a telephonic conversation with President Ashraf Ghani in September 2020.
Announcing the prime minister’s first visit to the war-torn country, the Foreign Office said that the delegation would include the foreign minister, adviser for commerce and investment, and senior officials.
“The prime minister’s visit is part of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani had last visited Pakistan in June 2019,” read the FO statement.
The prime minister’s programme includes tete-e-tete with President Ashraf Ghani, delegation-level talks, and joint press stake-out.
“The focus would be on further deepening the fraternal bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Afghan peace process, and regional economic development and connectivity,” added the Foreign Office.
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In this context, besides the foreign minister’s regular exchanges with his Afghan counterpart, there have recently been important visits from Afghanistan to Pakistan of Chairman High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Speaker Afghan Wolesi Jirga Rahman Rahmani and Commerce Minister Nisar Ahmad Ghoraini.
On August 31, 2020, the Second Review Session of the Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) was held in Kabul.
As part of this process, and in the run-up to the prime minister’s forthcoming visit, Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood visited Kabul from 16-18 November 2020.