Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Thursday, at a time when peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives have stalled and violence is rising.
The two discussed ways to further deepen the fraternal bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Afghan peace process, and regional economic development and connectivity.
PM Imran and President Ghani also deliberated upon the prospects of resumption of peace in Afghanistan following the Doha peace agreement inked between the United States and Taliban.
They agreed to strengthen bilateral relations as the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan were linked through immutable bonds of history, faith, culture, kinship, values and traditions.
Imran Khan expressed confidence that his visit would help foster a stronger and multi-faceted relationship between the two brotherly countries.
This is Imran’s first visit to Afghanistan since assuming office in 2018. It is the highest profile visit by a Pakistani official to Kabul since peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha. And it comes days after the Pentagon announced it would reduce the number of US military personnel in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January.
Earlier, upon his arrival, Imran was given a warm reception at the Afghan Presidential Palace. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani received Prime Minister Khan on his arrival at ARG Presidential Palace, situated in the heart of Kabul city. The Prime Minister reviewed the guard of honour presented by a contingent of Afghan forces.
Afghan Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar and Afghanistan’s Special Representative for Pakistan Umer Daudzai received the prime minister at Hamid Karzai International Airport. The prime minister’s entourage included Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PM’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Director General Inter Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq and senior officials.
Earlier, the two leaders had a bilateral meeting 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.