ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has again invited Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah months after he declined to travel to Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul Abrar Hussain delivered the invitation to Dr Abdullah during a meeting on Tuesday, Abdullah’s media office said. Hussain said they discussed bilateral cooperation.
Dr Abdullah thanked the prime minister for the invitation and said he would visit Pakistan at an appropriate time, according to his office. The invitation came at a time when the roller-coaster relationship between Islamabad and Kabul is going through a bad patch due to recent hostilities on their border.
In June border guards of the two neighbours traded heavy fire causing casualties on both sides. The skirmishes were triggered by the construction of a border crossing gate by Pakistan at Torkham in Khyber Agency. A joint committee was later formed to find a solution to the issue days after a ceasefire was declared.
Premier Nawaz has also invited Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai, but it is not known when he will visit Islamabad. In June, Karzai told a Pakistani delegation that he would visit Pakistan in July; but the visit could not materialise apparently due to tensions between the two countries.
The prime minister had earlier invited Dr Abdullah, who accepted the invite and was scheduled to visit Islamabad on May 2-3. But the trip was postponed shortly after Taliban suicide bombers launched a deadly attack on a security office in Kabul on April 19.
The assault which had killed over 70 people also derailed diplomatic efforts for peace negotiations. Some Afghan leaders blamed the Haqqani network, which they claimed operates from Pakistan, a charge Islamabad has always denied.
Courtesy : Express Tribune