Pakistani PM arrives in Afghanistan to push peace efforts

KABUL: (MEP) – Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday received a warm welcome as he landed in Kabul on a day-long visit at the invitation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the regional situation.

While giving details of the visit, the Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that as part of his vision of a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood, Sharif had stressed the importance of close, cooperative relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbors.

He said that the prime minister’s visit to Afghanistan reinforces efforts in that direction.

The Afghan President had visited Pakistan on August 26 to 27, this year, and he, along with Sharif, also met at the Trilateral Summit in London on October 29, 2013.

According to an official press release, the two leaders will hold in-depth consultations on all issues of common interest, including the evolving situation in the region and ways to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations in all dimensions, kuna reported.

Chaudhry in a media briefing said that peace and stability in Afghanistan are in Pakistan’s vital interests adding that Pakistan has extended consistent support for the promotion of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and remains committed to working with Afghanistan as well as international partners for sustainable peace and development in Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a long border, common cultures and challenges in the region with over 7,000 Afghan students currently studying in Pakistan, including 2,000 on fully funded scholarships offered by Pakistan.

The Prime minister is also scheduled to meet a delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, led by its Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani.

The prime minister’s visit is taking place at a time where an important political and security transitions is underway in Afghanistan, marked by forthcoming elections and a NATO/ISAF troops downsizing during 2014.

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