Hamid Karzai to visit Pakistan this month

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to visit Pakistan on August 26 to rebuild frayed bilateral ties and talks on resuscitating the peace process with the Taliban, according to a media report on Monday.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2013, 20:38 PM IST

Islamabad: Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to visit Pakistan on August 26 to rebuild frayed bilateral ties and talks on resuscitating the peace process with the Taliban, according to a media report on Monday.

Karzai would travel to Pakistan on August 26, a source in the Afghan presidency was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Musazai, at a briefing in Kabul, said a comprehensive agenda was being worked out for the President.

Pakistan`s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz delivered an invitation to Karzai to visit Pakistan when he went to Kabul last month. This will be Karzai?s first trip to Pakistan in almost a year-and-half.

The Afghan President had recently set conditions for a visit to Pakistan, including a comprehensive agenda for talks on issues like terrorism.

Karzai recently spoke to both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to exchange Eid greetings. His conversation with Sharif indicated his preferred subjects for talks, the report said.

He was quoted by Afghan officials as having sought "practical and sincere" cooperation in fighting terrorism. Discussions on reviving the peace process with the Taliban would be another point on Karzai?s agenda. He will also discuss economic cooperation and the issue of Afghan refugees.

All stakeholders in the Afghan peace process, including the Taliban, have expressed interest in getting past the fracas over the name of the militants` office in Doha and raising the flag that led to its closure, the report said.
There are indications that the Taliban`s political office will be relocated to another country. Afghanistan has indicated its preferences are Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan helped the Taliban open the office in Doha and is now being pressured by the West to play its part in coaxing them back into talks.

PTI