Pakistan PM visits Kabul to reset strained ties

Special Pakistan PM visits Kabul to reset strained ties
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrives in Kabul to meet with Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani. (Photo courtesy: Govt of Pakistan/Twitter)
Updated 06 April 2018

Pakistan PM visits Kabul to reset strained ties

Pakistan PM visits Kabul to reset strained ties
  • PM Abbasi will discuss trade and transit issues with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
  • Kabul looks forward to resolving problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan through dialogue, Ghani's spokesman told Arab News

KABUL: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Kabul on a one-day visit on Friday for talks with Afghan leaders aimed at resetting strained ties.
He was invited by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who seeks Islamabad’s help to curb the alleged presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan, and to persuade them to take part in negotiations with Kabul.
In addition to security, peace talks and counterterrorism, Abbasi will discuss trade and transit issues with Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. 
Kabul’s emphasis “will be how we can resolve problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan through dialogue,” Shah Hussain Murtazawi, Ghani’s chief spokesman, told Arab News. “We’re hopeful.”
Kabul expects Islamabad to show “necessary commitment” to peace in Afghanistan, and wants to resolve bilateral problems at their roots, Murtazawi said.
The visit comes a day after the Afghan Foreign Ministry accused Pakistan of airstrikes in Kunar province.
The strikes were “obvious violations” of Afghanistan’s airspace and territorial integrity, and “a continuation of similar violations” by Pakistan, the ministry said.
Pakistan denied violating Afghan airspace or carrying out airstrikes, saying the allegations are “baseless.”
Rahim Mushtaq, an analyst on regional political and security affairs, said he is not optimistic that Abbasi’s visit will achieve a breakthrough.
“Expecting Pakistan to change its overall strategy vis-a-vis Afghanistan is naive,” Mushtaq told Arab News. 
“However, through visits like this one, Pakistan is trying to tell the world that it’s willing to work with Afghanistan.”