Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Kabul in coming weeks to push for the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan, according to a close aide of Khan.
“Mr. Khan is planning to visit Kabul, however no date and schedule have been finalized yet,” the aide said on condition of anonymity due to sensitivity of the matter.
However, he refused to share more details about the likely visit of Khan, who last week returned from his first official visit to Washington.
Khan, after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, said his country would do everything within its power to facilitate the ongoing peace process.
“I want to assure President Trump that Pakistan will do everything within its power to facilitate the Afghan peace process. The world owes it to the long-suffering Afghan people to bring about peace after 4 decades of conflict,” Khan tweeted last week.
On Thursday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said Islamabad has facilitated direct talks between the U.S. and Afghan Taliban.
“We are noting progress with keen interest and hope that the recent intra-Afghan talks would lead to a more comprehensive and all-inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue,” Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for the ministry, told reporters during his weekly briefing.
Analysts believe Khan’s expected visit would be a part of his promise which he made with President Trump to continue his country’s positive role in Afghan peace process.
“Last week Imran Khan was announced to play more effective role in Afghan peace after his meeting with President Trump, so this visit may be a part of that initiative,” Fakhar Kakakheil, Islamabad-based political analyst, said.
If he visits Kabul, it will also help further improvement of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, he added.
Ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained frosty in recent decades with both accusing each other of patronizing militants. However, the recent visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan had improved the ties between the two neighbors.
Anadolu with additional input from GVS News Desk