NA speaker insists Afghan leader to reciprocate visit

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  • Ayaz says President Ghani to visit Islamabad after PM Nawaz’s Afghan visit

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Sunday insisted that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had assured him during his visit to Kabul that he (Ghani) would visit Islamabad after Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif pays a visit to Afghanistan.

Talking to the journalists, he clarified his statement after his return from Afghanistan and Afghan president’s reported ‘rejection’ of an invitation to visit Pakistan. He explained that the Afghan president had not declined invitations extended to him by Pakistan officials, as Ghani’s deputy spokesperson Dawa Khan Minapal had said last week.

In Kabul, the junior spokesperson claimed that President Ghani, after meetings with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Naveed Mukhtar and Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, had ‘rejected’ their invitations, saying he would not visit Pakistan until Islamabad ‘hands over perpetrators of terror attacks.’

“I will not go to Pakistan till the ‘perpetrators’ behind the attacks in Mazar-i-Sharif, the American University in Kabul and the Kandahar attacks are handed over to Afghan authorities and until Islamabad takes concrete action against militants on Pakistani soil,” Minapal had quoted Ghani as saying.

However, Speaker Ayaz said that President Ghani assured the vsiting parliamentary delegation that he would visit Pakistan once Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid a reciprocal visit to Afghanistan. The Afghan president last paid an official visit to Pakistan in December 2015 for the Heart of Asia moot.

The speaker said that he had invited the Afghan president to Islamabad so that relations between the two countries may improve. “It is his [Ghani’s] desire as well that relations improve and peace is established,” he added. He also said that during his meeting in Kabul, the Afghan president told him that 50 per cent of Afghan land was not under his control.

President Ghani had said that members of the militant groups were present just a few kilometres away from where the meetings were held between them (Afghan president and the speaker), he said. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will be visiting Pakistan soon, he reconfirmed.

The speaker said that Pakistan has started fencing its borders and over 1,000 posts have been established. He urged Afghanistan to cooperate so as to improve border security. Once border fencing was complete, neither side would have any complaints, he said.

To a question, he said that the PML-N government would complete its constitutional tenure and the next general election would be held in 2018. He said tenure of the current government would expire on June 1 the next year and the elections would be held after 90 days of the establishment of the caretaker government.

2 COMMENTS

  1. No need for the Mayor of Kabul to come over to Pakistan and talk to lame duck Nawaz Sharif. Close the border and suspend all trade until all Afghans including Pastuns are fully represented within their government.

  2. Nawaz Sharif is a shameless, head less chicken, he is causing huge insult to Pakistani Nation , as he did say a word against afghan’s selling and killing Pakistanis. This useless Government falling in parts in every nation and international matters.

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