Pakistan PM in 'historic' first visit to Afghanistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Nov 19. — AP

Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Nov 19. — AP

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his first official visit to Kabul on Thursday, focusing on the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban as well as on building trust and strengthening relations between the two often acrimonious neighbors.

"We the people and government of Pakistan have only one concern, and that concern is. that we want peace (in Afghanistan)", Khan said.

Khan's visit is part of regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the statement said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is given a welcome at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. "I have never believed in military solutions which is why I always believed that in Afghanistan, peace will be achieved through political dialogue".

Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed satisfaction over the important decisions taken by the two sides during seventh Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) meeting held on November 17 in Kabul including commencing of negotiations on PTA, progress on revision of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), agreement of cooperation between customs, and understanding about having an MoU on cooperation between the central banks.

Both New Delhi and Kabul deny these charges.

"If you feel there is somewhere Pakistan can help, please let us know".

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The data clearly shows that the expenditure on the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Afghanistan has witnessed an extraordinary decline as compared to the rulers who visited the same country during their previous tenures.

"Whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce the violence", and help move the Afghan-Taliban talks toward a cease-fire, Khan said. This was done first in direct talks with the United States, resulting in an agreement which led to the so-called intra-Afghan negotiations now underway in Doha.

Neither leader addressed this week's announcement that the USA planned to withdraw large numbers of troops from Afghanistan.

Furthermore, PPP Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf visited Afghanistan during 2012 and an amount of US$51,000 was spent during his visit to the neighbouring country.

The PMO said Pakistan and Afghanistan also issued a document titled "Shared Vision between Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Support Peace and Stability in Both Countries and the Wider Region".

The two leaders also agreed to expedite infrastructure and energy connectivity projects.

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