- Ustad Karim Khalili will be in Pakistan from Jan 11-13
- Khalili will hold meetings with PM Imran Khan and other leaders
- FO says visit is part of policy to reach out to Afghan political leadership
Afghan leader Ustad Karim Khalili will arrive in Pakistan today for a three-day trip from January 11 till January 13, said the Foreign Office on Sunday.
The FO said that the lead of Afghanistan’s Hezb-e-Wahdat-e Islami will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other leaders.
The FO said that the visit is part of Pakistan’s policy of reaching out to Afghanistan’s political leadership to develop a “common understanding on the Afghan peace process and deepen people-to-people linkages”.
The FO said that Pakistan has deep-rooted ties with Afghanistan, adding that the two countries had shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions.
“Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people,” reiterated the statement.
The FO added that Pakistan continues to be steadfast in its support for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution of the conflict in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
The visit by Khalili comes as the talks between the Afghan Taliban and Ashraf Ghani-led government resumed last week.
Peace talks resume in Doha
Afghan negotiators resumed talks with the Taliban in a bid to end bloodshed and find a political roadmap for the country after a spike in violence across Afghanistan threatened peace prospects.
The talks are ongoing amid growing doubt over a US-Taliban peace deal brokered by outgoing President Donald Trump.
As ordered by Trump, an accelerated withdrawal of US troops means just 2,500 American soldiers will still be in Afghanistan when President-elect Joe Biden takes office this month.
Biden has advocated keeping a small intelligence-based presence in Afghanistan, but Taliban leaders have flatly rejected the presence of any foreign troops on Afghan soil.
Officials familiar with the US-Taliban peace deal say there is no wiggle room that would allow even a small number of foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan.