Abdullah to begin Pakistan visit on Monday

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan, will begin his three-day official visit to Pakistan on Monday as efforts are underway to seek a political end to the two-decade-long conflict in the war-torn country, the Foreign Office here said.

Abdullah, who is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will be head a high-powered delegation, which includes prominent members of the HCNR, a statement issued by The Express Tribune quoted the Foreign Office as saying on Sunday in a statement.

During his visit, Abdullah will call on the prime minister and president and will have interaction with the Senate Chairman, National Assembly Speaker, Foreign Minister and other dignitaries.

He will deliver a key-note address at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad and also have interaction with the media.

This is Abdullah’s first visit to Pakistan in his capacity as chairman of the HCNR.

“Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal ties with Afghanistan, rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions. Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people,” the Foreign Office statement said.

“The visit will contribute to further strengthening amity, brotherhood and close cooperation between the two countries.”

The visit comes after Prime Minister Khan in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Saturday warned against hasty withdrawal of foreign powers from Afghanistan, The Express Tribune reported.

“All those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines. A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise,” he said in the opinion piece.

“We should also guard against regional spoilers who are not invested in peace and see instability in Afghanistan as advantageous for their own geopolitical ends.”

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