Afghan president, chief executive due to visit Pakistan soon, says envoyArchive
PESHAWAR: Afghan consul general Professor Mohammad Moeen Marastial on Wednesday said a high-level delegation from Kabul would visit Islamabad in a few days to discuss ways and means to improve bilateral ties.
He told reporters in his office here that Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah were expected to visit Pakistan soon.
He said the visit would be very important for the improvement of bilateral ties.
The Islamabad-Kabul relations turned sour after the recent surge in the acts of terrorism inside Afghanistan and border clashes.
Insists untoward incident occurs whenever Kabul, Islamabad come closer
Five Frontier Corps soldiers were killed and nine suffered injuries in clashes with the Afghan security forces in Kurram Agency last month. The local officials had claimed that the retaliatory action had killed 10 Afghan soldiers.
Mr Marastial said he was optimistic about a breakthrough in talks between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban.
He said the Afghan Taliban would support the government’s efforts for the restoration of peace in the war-torn country.
The Afghan diplomat claimed that his government’s talks with the Taliban were ‘heading towards betterment’.
He said the Taliban were only annoyed but they were not enemies while elements associated with so-called Islamic State (IS) were the real enemies.
“I am sure that the Afghan Taliban will support the government’s initiative for durable peace in the country,” he said.
Mr Marastial said the Afghan forces were fighting against the IS in every nook and corner of the country.
He said the IS had claimed responsibility for Monday’s twin suicide attacks in Kabul, which had killed 36 people, including nine journalists.
“An untoward incident occurs whenever Kabul and Islamabad come closer,” he said, adding that the leadership of the two countries would not provide any opportunity to the enemies of peace to strain bilateral relations.
The diplomat said the Afghan Army was conducting operations against the IS and that was why, the militant group claimed responsibility for suicide and other terrorist activities.
Without naming names, he said some forces facilitated terrorist activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mr Marastial said both countries could prevent terrorist activities by formulating a joint strategy.
He condemned the killing of journalists in Kabul suicide attacks.
“The journalists and photographers do not belong to the defence forces or a war institute. They are only a source of the transmission of our voice to the world,” he said, adding that more journalists were killed in Khost and Kandahar compared with other Afghan provinces.
Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2018