Pak: Bashir to travel to Kabul with special message

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir would travel to Afghanistan tomorrow with a "special message" for President Hamid Karzai, the government announced on Sunday.

Bashir will "reach Kabul tomorrow to deliver Prime Minister's special message to Afghan President Hamid Karzai", said a statement issued by premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's office.

It did not give details of the message.

The move comes ahead of a trilateral meeting of US, Afghan and Pakistani officials in Kabul next week to discuss peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country.

Bashir will lead the Pakistani delegation to those talks.

Pakistan has been jockeying for a larger role for itself in possible negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban militants led by Mullah Omar to find a peaceful settlement as the US begins pulling its troops out of Afghanistan.

Media reports have quoted Afghan officials as saying that Pakistan's civilian and military leadership have urged President Karzai to allow China to play a larger role in Afghanistan after the drawdown of US troops.