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'Pak's Zardari to visit Kabul'

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will tomorrow make his first official trip to Afghanistan, a government official told AFP.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2009 19:11 IST

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will tomorrow make his first official trip to Afghanistan, a government official told AFP.

Zardari had been due to visit Kabul last month for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on how to tackle the resurgent Taliban, but his plane was unable to leave Islamabad due to bad weather.

The official, who asked not to be named, told AFP the one-day trip would now go ahead tomorrow.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said last month that Zardari would visit Afghanistan "in the first week of January, inshallah (God willing)."

"I hope that there will be a pleasant change in the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have been strained for some time," Qureshi said.

Islamabad and Kabul, allies in the US-led "war on terror," are struggling to rein in Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who have been holed up in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Karzai has accused Islamabad of not doing enough to prevent cross-border operations by Taliban insurgents against Afghan and international troops.

Pakistan last week mounted a major offensive in the Khyber tribal area to clear militants from an area near a key highway linking Pakistan and Afghanistan, used by trucks ferrying supplies to NATO and US troops.

The road was closed for several days but was reopened daytime hours from today, officials said.