Strategic talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan begins today

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan has formally decided to begin strategic dialogue to boost cooperation in defence, security and Political fields.

The final approval to start strategic dialogue would be given by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during his visit to Afghanistan along with top military brass today (Saturday).

The Premier would be accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

Defence Minister Ahmed Mukthar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Finance minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, foreign state minister Hina Rabbani Khar and foreign secretary Suleman Bashir would also be among the PM’s delegation, sources informed Online.

The sources said that Gilani in his first ever visit accompanying top military brass, to Kabul, discuss security issues, including the situation on the Pakistan-Afghan border, issue of Afghan refugees and terrorism with Afghan leadership.

The country’s civil and military leadership would finalize arrangements to begin strategic dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The discussion would be held in two Phases. During fist Phase, sources said, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani and DG ISI Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha would hold talks with Afghan President, Afghan Army Chief and Afghan intelligence chief.

During the second Phase, DG ISI and Secretary foreign affairs Suleman Bashir would be meeting with Afghan leaders.

The sources said that foreign and interior level groups would be formed between the countries, adding that interior and foreign secretaries would be included in the foreign secretaries Group.

“The possibility of peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government was also expected to be discussed”, a Private TV Channel quoted sources as saying.

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