PM Abbasi reaches Kabul for day-long visit

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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqani Abbasi on Friday arrived in Kabul on a one-day visit to hold talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on matters of mutual interest. Bilateral trade, return of Afghan refugees, combating drug production and clamping down on the narcotics trade will also come under discussion during the meeting.

On his arrival, a guard of honour was presented to the PM. "The two sides are also engaged in undertaking major bilateral rail-road connectivity projects", read the statement issued by the Ministry. The operations took place on the Pakistani side of the border, it said.

In a statement issued by the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul, Islamabad said Abbasi had been accompanied by Pakistan's foreign minister, interior minister, and National Security Adviser.

At a meeting with a high-level Pakistani delegation led by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the Presidential Palace here, Ghani underlined the need for joint counter-terrorism efforts.

Since then, several attempts have been made, with little success, to resume the stalled peace process by a four-nation group comprising of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the US and China.

Prime Minister Abbasi praised Ghani's vision for peace in Afghanistan and his offer of peace talks to Taliban.

"Both leaders called on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay".

"The two leaders reiterated that terrorism was a common enemy and threat".

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed that they would not allow terrorists to use their soil for anti-state activities against each other.

Besides the Afghan president, the prime minister will also meet Afghan Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah.

The two sides conferred on initiating work on the Quetta-Kandahar and Peshawar-Jalalabad railway lines, as well as the Peshawar-Jalalabad-Kabul highway. "They emphasised early completion of TAPI and CASA-1000 projects".

"We stand for peace in Afghanistan", Prime Minister Abbasi told an worldwide counterterrorism conference in Pakistan's capital Thursday.

Ghani and Abbasi reaffirmed their resolve to build trust and confidence between the two countries by working closely for peace, prosperity and stability in their countries.

Abbasi will also visit China on April 8 after returning from Kabul.

The Prime Minister was introduced with the Afghan cabinet members after the welcome ceremony.