Pakistani PM to visit Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen troubled ties

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He said an Afghan-led peace process was the only way to stability in the Country, and Pakistan was ready for cooperation in that respect.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua accompanied the prime minister.

They have made a decision to operationalize the five working groups under "Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity".

Also on Thursday, Javid Faisal, deputy spokesman for Afghanistan's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, said that Pakistan's support was critical to talks with the Taliban and that Abbasi's visit would help improve the troubled Afghan-Pakistan relations.

"Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way forward", said the statement.

"The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat. They agreed not to allow their soils to be used for anti-state activities against each other".

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An end to border violations, regional railroad projects and finalization of a Pakistani action plan for peace and solidarity with Afghanistan were also discussed in detail.

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

To promote regional economic integration, the two countries are participating in key trans-regional initiatives namely Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and Central Asia - South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000).

The two sides conferred on initiating work on the Quetta-Kandahar and Peshawar-Jalalabad railway lines, as well as the Peshawar-Jalalabad-Kabul highway. They discussed the entire range of bilateral matters and agreed on regular leadership contacts.

Late on Thursday, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement rejecting a claim made by Kabul that Pakistan violated Afghan airspace with Pakistani Air Force raids inside Afghan territory during counter-terrorism operations earlier in the week.

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