PM Nawaz reaches Kabul on day long visit

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday arrived in Kabul on a day long visit to hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and members of High Peace Council on bilateral relations and the peace process following withdrawal of coalition forces from that country.

It is his first visit to Afghanistan after taking the oath of his office following May 11 election victory.

The prime minister is accompanied by Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and other officials. Member National Assembly‚ Mahmood Khan Achakzai is also accompanying the prime minister.

His visit is taking place at a time when important political and security transitions are underway in Afghanistan‚ marked by forthcoming elections and NATO/ISAF troop drawdown during 2014.

As part of his vision of a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood‚ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stressed the importance of close‚ cooperative relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbours.

The Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that Islamabad attaches high importance to its relations with Kabul.

Mushtaq Ahmed Mehar, the former ambassador‚ while commenting on the visit said Nawaz Sharif wants to boost trade relations with central Asian countries including Afghanistan‚ China and Iran.

The former ambassador said Afghanistan could become trade corridor for central Asian Republics Pakistan believes time has come to hold talks with Taliban for peace in the region.

Mushtaq Ahmed Mehar said Pakistan believes there should be no interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

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