On the invitation of President Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Kabul, Afghanistan today. A chilly morning in Kabul with beefed up security arrangements as Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to undertake his first ever visit to Afghanistan with key meetings on the agenda, visit taking place on the invite of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Many stakeholders are eyeing this visit very closely. Khan with Afghan is the future.
The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan are linked through immutable bonds of history, faith, culture, kinship, values and traditions. The Prime Minister’s visit will help foster a stronger and multi-faceted relationship between the two brotherly countries. Pakistani and Afghani people are brothers and share a rich ancient history of culture and land. They are one and will always remain brothers forever.
The streets of Kabul are decorated with the flags of Pakistan to welcome Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan. PM Khan is scheduled to pay a one-day visit to Kabul today. This will be Khan’s maiden visit to Kabul after assuming the office in 2018. As part of this process, and in run-up to the Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit, Adviser Commerce and Investment Razaq Dawood visited Kabul on 16-18 November 2020 and held in-depth discussions on bilateral trade and investment ties and matters related to transit trade.
The best thing that Imran Khan can do ( and if he is allowed to do) tomorrow in his Kabul visit is to declare closing Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. It can save both countries from catastrophe. Anything short of that would be a new garb for the 40 years old strategic depth. This is the Prime Minister’s first visit to Afghanistan since assuming office. The Prime Minister’s delegation will comprise the Foreign Minister, Adviser for Commerce and Investment, and senior officials.
The Prime Minister’s programme includes tete-e-tete with President Ashraf Ghani, delegation-level talks, and joint press stake-out. The focus would be on further deepening the fraternal bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Afghan peace process, and regional economic development and connectivity. The Prime Minister’s visit is part of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani had last visited Pakistan in June 2019.
Earlier, the two leaders had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah in May 2019. The Prime Minister also had a telephonic conversation with President Ashraf Ghani in September 2020. The Prime Minister’s visit builds on the sustained engagement between the two countries in recent months for enhancing bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. This is what true neighbors do.
In this context, besides Foreign Minister’s regular exchanges with his Afghan counterpart, there have recently been important visits from Afghanistan to Pakistan of Chairman HCNR Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Speaker Afghan Wolesi Jirga Rahman Rahmani & Commerce Minister Nisar Ghoraini. On 31 August 2020, the Second Review Session of the Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) was held in Kabul.