- The visit of Hekmatyar will provide an opportunity for exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations as well as people-to-people interaction
(Karachi) As part of efforts to take the Afghan peace process forward, Afghanistan's former prime minister and Hezb-e-Islami chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar arrived on a three-day visit to Pakistan on Monday, TOLOnews stated.
Hekmatyar is accompanied by Afghan delegation and is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. He will also call on President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and other dignitaries. He will also deliver a talk at a policy think-tank and interact with the media.
The visit of Hekmatyar will provide an opportunity for exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations as well as people-to-people interaction.
Earlier, Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Dr Abdullah Abdullah visited Pakistan and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts with regards to the Afghan peace process. He praised Pakistan’s recent string of confidence-building measures as the Afghan government and the Taliban try to finalise a peace deal.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been rocky. But Abdullah said that there was a need for going “beyond the rhetoric and the usual blame game”, because no one could afford to pursue dissolution.
In February this year, a deal was struck between the United States and the Taliban in which it was agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released from Afghan prisons before peace talks between the militant group and the government.
On August 10, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners demanded by the Taliban as a condition to move to peace talks.
Later, the Afghan government released the remaining Taliban prisoners, kicking of intra-Afghan peace talks.