Afghanistan’s Abdullah Abdullah to visit Pakistan soon

Islamabad, July 6 (IANS) Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghan peace council, will soon pay an official visit to Pakistan as part of efforts to advance the peace process that has entered a crucial phase, it was reported on Monday.

Abdullah, who was appointed as Chairman of the Supreme National Reconciliation Council as part of a power-sharing deal with President Ashraf Ghani, was invited by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to visit Islamabad, The Express Tribune quoted Foreign Office officials as saying on Sunday.

Taking to Twitter, Pakistan's special representative on Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq confirmed the invitation and said: “Pakistan-Afghanistan relations are moving forward. Foreign Minister SM Qureshi has invited the Chairman of the Supreme National Reconciliation Council, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, to pay an official visit to Pakistan. Dr Abdullah Abdullah will visit at mutually convenient dates.”

This will be the first visit by any senior Afghan figure in months.

The improved bilateral ties between Islamabad and Kabul are seen as critical for any success of the intra-Afghan dialogue that is poised to start soon, said The Express Tribune report.

The intra-Afghan dialogue is the second phase of the crucial Afghan peace process that culminated on a landmark deal between the US and Afghan Taliban on February 29.

The deal envisages a timeframe for withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan in return for Taliban guarantees of not allowing Afghan soil to be used again by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

The key aspect of the deal was prisoners swap between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

The intra-Afghan dialogue, which is expected to take place either in Qatar or Germany, will decided the future political dispensation in Afghanistan.



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