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September 28, 2020

Abdullah Abdullah due today

Top Story

September 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan, will be visiting Islamabad on a three-day visit from Monday (today).

Pakistan hopes the visit will pave way for wide-ranging exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of bilateral relations and people-to-people interaction.

Earlier, after the visit of the Afghan Taliban to Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan had invited Dr Abdullah Abdullah to discuss ways for clearing the path to an intra-Afghan dialogue.

Imran called up Abdullah inviting him to visit Pakistan at the earliest to share perspectives on advancing the Afghan peace process and forging closer ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq has played a crucial role in this forthcoming visit which sees Abdullah accompanied by a high-level delegation, including prominent members of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said Dr. Abdullah Abdullah would meet the prime minister, president, chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other dignitaries. He will deliver a key-note address at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad and also interact with the media. This is Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s first visit to Pakistan in his capacity as Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

Return of Afghan refugees and continuing attacks by the TTP from the Afghan soil will be the issues that Pakistan is expected to bring up.

“Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal ties with Afghanistan, rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions. Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people. The visit of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will contribute to further strengthening amity, brotherhood and close cooperation between the two countries,” added the statement.

On the eve of Dr Abdullah Abdullah’s visit, The Washington Post on Saturday published an op-ed by Prime Minister Imran Khan stating that “the path leading to the intra-Afghan talks was not easy but "we were able to press on thanks to the courage and flexibility that were on display from all sides".

He wrote that the intra-Afghan negotiations were "likely to be even more difficult, requiring patience and compromise from all sides".

"Progress could be slow and painstaking; there may even be the occasional deadlock, as Afghans work together for their future. At such times, we would do well to remember that a bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than a bloody stalemate on the battlefield," he wrote.

He added that all sides which invested in the Afghan peace process should "resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines".

He also warned of regional spoilers, who he said saw instability in Afghanistan as an advantage for their own political purposes.