COAS to visit Kabul in expected push to peace dialogue
Afghanistan sees Pakistan’s support as vital to resuming a stalled peace dialogue with the Taliban and recently both countries have expressed resolve to work together in this regard.
“COAS will visit Kabul on Sunday, 27th December,” Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said on Twitter.
“Gen Sharif will hold meetings with political and military leadership of Afghanistan,” Bajwa said.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani travelled to Pakistan this month to open a conference that shored up international support for Taliban talks.
At the Islamabad conference, Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed commitment to the peace process, with the United States and China also offering support.
“The visit by the army chief to Kabul is a follow up of commitments made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani towards Afghan peace at the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad,” said security analyst Imtiaz Gul.
Gul said that the resumption of dialogue with the Taliban, action against Haqqani network and other militant groups, as well as peaceful border management were likely to be discussed during talks between General Sharif, not related to Premier Sharif, and top Afghan leaders.
During Nawaz Sharif’s trip to the US in October President Barack Obama stressed that Pakistan needed to take action against groups that undermine peaceful dialogue.
Pakistan, which wields considerable influence over the Taliban, hosted a milestone first round of peace negotiations in July. But the talks stalled when the Taliban belatedly confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Omar, sparking a power struggle within the movement.