Islamabad: Afghan President Hamid Karzai today arrived here on a day-long visit to discuss the frayed ties and seek release of Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader as a confidence building measure.
This will be the first highest-level exchange between Pakistan and Afghanistan since the democratic transition and swearing-in of the new government. Karzai's visit will carry forward this process of constructive engagement between the two countries, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Chaudhry said.
Ties between the two countries nosedived after Pakistan and the US supported a Taliban office that opened in Qatari capital Doha in June to foster talks and also over a reported statement by Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz that Kabul should cede some provinces to Taliban for lasting peace.
Aziz reportedly proposed this to Afghan ambassador Umer Duadzai during a meeting in Islamabad in June.
Karzai is accompanied by a high-level delegation of Cabinet Ministers and senior officials.
Sharif has set out an agenda of improving ties with all neighbours and has spoken at least thrice to Karazi since taking office in June.
The two leaders will have in-depth consultations on all issues of common interest, including the evolving situation in the region as well as ways to deepen and broaden bilateral ties.
Chaudhry said that peace and stability in Afghanistan are in Pakistan's vital interest and his country has extended consistent support for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan remains committed to working with Afghanistan as well as regional and international partners for sustainable peace and development,” he said.