Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has begun a two-day official visit to Pakistan to pursue what aides say would be the normalization of the relationship between the two uneasy neighboring countries.
The Afghan leader held delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan shortly after arriving in Islamabad as the head of a large delegation comprising cabinet ministers, advisors and Afghan business community leaders.
Khan™s office said in a post-meeting statement the two leaders "agreed to open a new chapter of friendship and cooperation ...based on mutual trust and harmony for the benefit of the two peoples and countries and for advancing the cause of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The discussions between the two delegations focused on strengthening mutual cooperation in a number of areas, including political, trade, economy, security, as well as peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, the statement noted.
Ghani, who is undertaking his third visit to Islamabad after taking office in 2014, is also scheduled to address a conference of Pakistani and Afghan businessmen.
Allegations that the Pakistani military supports and shelters Taliban leaders are at the center of long-running bilateral tensions and mistrust. Pakistan rejects the charges and in turn accuses the Afghan spy agency of providing refuge to militants waging terrorist attacks against the Pakistani state.
The two countries share a nearly 2,600 kilometer, largely porous border, which critics say encourages illegal movement in both directions. Pakistan is unilaterally installing a robust fence along most of the frontier and believes it would address mutual security concerns.
Source : VOA