PM Abbasi receives guard of honor in Kabul

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, accompanied by ministers of foreign affairs and interior, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and the national security advisor, arrived in Kabul on a daylong visit on the invitation of Ghani.

The ministry said the Prime Minister will have in-depth consultations with Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on matters of mutual interest, including strengthening bilateral political, economic, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, returning Afghan refugees, combating drug production and illegal drug trade, the Afghan peace process and the regional political and security situation.

He will also meet senior Afghan political leaders.

Abbasi also announced a gift of 40,000 tons of wheat for the Afghan people and announced a waiver of additional regulatory duty on Afghan exports to Pakistan in order to help improve the Afghan economy.

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"Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay".

Pakistan said it aspires to deepen people to people contacts.

They also discussed Pakistan's connection to the Central Asia, energy transition, Quetta-Kandahar-Herat and Peshawar-Jalalabad railroad projects and construction of Peshawar-Jalalabad highway.

Both leaders agreed that peace, prosperity and stability of the two countries are interlinked and they reaffirmed their resolve to work together to address all issues of bilateral and transit trade.

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PM Abbasi was welcomed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the two inspected an honor guard at the Presidential Palace in Kabul before heading in for meetings.

Afghanistan's Western-backed government has long accused Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban insurgents, a charge that Islamabad denies.

Islamabad accuses Kabul of failing to take action against militant groups who continue to attack Pakistan from their sanctuaries across the border in Afghanistan. In the latest military actions, Pakistan told the Afghan about them and stressed that these operations were on Pakistani side of the border, it said.

During the trip, Ashraf Ghani has invited Pakistan's prime minister to "initiate state to state comprehensive dialogue" for the restoration of peace and solidarity in the region.

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  • Ryan Wade