Prime Minister Imran Khan reaches Kabul on day-long visit

KABUL, Afghanistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Kabul on Thursday on his maiden visit to Afghanistan since assuming the Office in August 2018 on the invitation of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Upon his arrival at Kabul airport, the prime minister was received by the Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar and the Afghan President’s Special Representative for Pakistan Mohammad Umer Daudzai, and senior officials.

The prime minister is accompanied by the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, his Adviser for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, the Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, the Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Faiz Hamid, and senior officials.

During his visit, the prime minister’s programme includes tete-e-tete with the Afghan 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.

The prime minister’s visit is part of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had last visited Pakistan in June 2019.

Earlier, the two leaders had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah in May 2019.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also had a telephonic conversation with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in September 2020.

His visit builds on the sustained engagement between the two countries in recent months for enhancing bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

In this context, besides 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 run-up to the prime minister’s forthcoming visit, his Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razaq Dawood visited Kabul on November 16-18, 2020 and held in-depth discussions on bilateral trade and investment ties and matters related to transit trade.

The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are linked through immutable bonds of history, faith, culture, kinship, values and traditions.

The prime minister’s visit will help foster a stronger and multi-faceted relationship between the two brotherly Countries.