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Pakistan Army chief to visit Afghanistan this week

Bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table is among the issues that will be discussed when Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa travels to Kabul.

world Updated: Sep 26, 2017 19:21 IST
Afghanistan-Pakistan relations,Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa,Pakistan Army chief to visit Afghanistan
File photo of Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2017. (Reuters)

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is expected to visit Afghanistan this week for talks on counter-terror efforts and measures to involve the Afghan Taliban in peace talks.

The Afghan defence ministry announced Bajwa’s upcoming visit on Tuesday, saying he will hold talks with top Afghan officials. Peace talks with the Taliban will be among the issues to be discussed during the visit, it said.

The Afghan government will reiterate its call to Pakistan to act against terrorist hideouts and safe havens in Pakistani territory, defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told the media.

“We will ask Pakistan to act honestly, otherwise these trips will not have results,” Waziri said.

A number of Afghan lawmakers have called on officials to provide the Pakistani side with “solid evidence” of Islamabad’s support for the Taliban. They said the Afghan government should pressure Pakistan to abide by its commitment to fight terrorism.

“Pakistan should be asked to hand over the leadership of the Afghan Taliban to the Afghan government and act solidly for the elimination of terrorist hideouts,” MP Fatima Aziz told Tolo News channel.

“The Afghan government should hand over all evidence to the Pakistani side and categorically tell them this action is no longer acceptable to us,” said MP Abdul Hai Akhundzada.

Bajwa’s visit comes ahead of his trip to Russia, which is also scheduled to hold a meeting of delegates from 50 countries to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 19:13 IST