Imran Khan pays first official visit to Afghanistan during crucial negotiations

Aditi Anilkumar


A historic visit by prime mister Imran khan to Kabul (Source: The Hindu)

Kabul: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, November 19, met with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on his first official visit to Kabul. The meeting encouraged both countries to improve bilateral relationships and also bring to notice the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban.

The visit came at a crucial time for Afghanistan as the government is currently holding negotiations with the United States of America and the Taliban in Qatar, Doha. "You come with a with a series of very important messages … but fundamental to this is that violence is not an answer, a comprehensive political settlement for an enduring peace within the framework of our values, our Constitution in the Islamic Republic is the way to the future," Ashraf Ghani said at the presidential palace.

Imran Khan was quick to add "Whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce the violence and help move the Afghan-Taliban talks toward a cease-fire," Khan said. "The whole objective of this visit is to build trust, to communicate more. We will be helping you," he added.

Kabul and Washington applauded Pakistan for their involvement in getting the Taliban to the peace table. Due to this act, it led to the so-called intra-afghan negotiations that are underway in Doha.

President of Afghanistan Mr Ghani used this opportunity to not only strengthen bilateral relations but also to bring to light the shared values the two countries withhold such as faith, culture, kinship, values and traditions. He called the visit 'historic' and believed that his visit was an 'important message to help end violence'.

Neither of the leaders addressed the announcement from the United States of America which stated the withdrawal of US troops from afghan regions. It created ripples on both sides of the Afghan conflict. The original deal that was stuck with the Taliban was that the US troops would gradually depart from Afghanistan by April. But with the new announcement by the Pentagon, 2500 soldiers will leave by January, and 2000 or more soldiers will be stationed in Afghanistan.

(Sources: The Hindu, The Diplomat, The Washington Post, Aljazeera)

Edited by: Suditi Jha

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