Karzai leaves for London on 5-day state visit
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Monday left Kabul for London on a five-day state visit to attend the World Islamic Economic Forum and a trilateral summit with British and Pakistani prime ministers.
Leaders from 120 countries, economic experts, corporate managers, investors, educationists and others experts are scheduled to attend the 9th meeting of the forum at the ExCel London.
Besides giving a speech at the Oxford University and visiting the British military academy, the president would hold wide-ranging talks with Cameron, Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond and International Development Secretary Justine Greening on bilateral cooperation.
A statement from his office said Karzai was being accompanied by his National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal, High Peace Council Chairman (HPC) Salahuddin Rabbani and acting Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi.
Since his release on Sept. 20, Baradar's location has been a source of speculation, with Kabul believing the ex-commander could persuade the Taliban to enter substantive peace talks with the Afghan government.
Two days back, President Karzai's spokesman told reporters that Mullah Baradar was still under strict supervision in Pakistan. Aimal Faizi said: "We will be seeking an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of Baradar and how Pakistan can facilitate direct talks between him and the HPC."
He added the HPC was in contact with Baradar's family. "This is what we are seeking. All we know is that his family members were able to contact him, but the High Peace Council itself hasn't yet reached Mullah Baradar."
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