Revival of peace talks: Gen. Raheel due in Kabul on Sunday
“During his day-long visit, the army chief will hold meetings with senior political and military leadership of Afghanistan,” Inter-Services Public Relations Director General of Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa said on Friday.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Raheel Sharif’s trip to Kabul is expected to provide an impetus to efforts for resurrecting the moribund reconciliation process and help mend relations between the long-bickering neighbours.
The army chief was initially expected to visit Kabul before the Heart of Asia meeting in Islamabad on December 9. However, testy statements from Kabul led to a delay in the trip.
Gen. Raheel’s visit was discussed at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan.
Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif, National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua, ISI Director-General Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry were also in attendance.
Last week, a Peshawar-based diplomatconfided to Pajhwok Afghan News Chief the COAS would visit Kabul in response to an invitation from President Ghaniduring his ice-breaking trip to Islamabad.
Representatives from Pakistan, China, the United States and Afghanistan will meet soon in Islamabad or at another venue to confer on how to jump-start the dialogue on ending nearly four decades of conflict in the neighbouring country.
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