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Karzai to visit Islamabad in last week of Aug.

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18 Aug 2013 - 16:26
author avatar
18 Aug 2013 - 16:26

KABUL in the last week of the current month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday. A comprehensive agenda has been firmed up.

Karzai would hold wide-ranging talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on security issues, a spokesman for the ministry told journalists in Kabul.

Janan Musazai said Islamabad’s role in the fight against terrorism and the peace process, as well as strengthening of trade ties, would also figure prominently at the meeting.

It will be President Karzai’s first visit to Islamabad since Sharif’s election as prime minister in May. The Pakistani leader has twice invited the president to visit his country.

The government in Kabul is confident the trip will help open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation and convince Pakistan into throwing its weight behind the Afghan-led reconciliation drive.

Over the past 12 years, Karzai has paid 19 visits to the neighbouring country, which Afghan officials often accuse of aiding the Taliban. Islamabad, however, denies the charge.

In response to a query about the Munich meeting, Musazai said the government wanted all gatherings about the country’s future to take place inside Afghanistan.

The domestic situation was favourable for such meetings, he insisted, remarking: “Opposition parties’ participation in talks outside Afghanistan is their own decision.”

A day earlier, Afghanistan National Front (ANF) spokesman Mohammad Ali Amiri told Pajhwok Afghan News former vice-president Ahmad Zia Massoud, Mohammad Mohaqiq, ex-spymaster Amarullah Saleh and others were attending the talks.

A German-based group, the Munich Process, has arranged the meeting, which was addressed through Skype by the Afghans living in Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey and other countries.

Right and Justice party member Mohammad Asif Ashna said the participants would discuss the country’s future and explore solutions to the problems facing it.



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