Will Karzai visit to Pakistan boost peace?

Islamabad, Aug 25 (IANS) Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to Pakistan Monday will push forward peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn country, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Umer Daudzai said Sunday.

Daudzai told Xinhua that leaders of the two countries will explore ways to boost economic ties and discuss another transit trade agreement that will allow Pakistan to have access to Central Asian states through Afghanistan.

Karzai will hold official talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on bilateral relations, with special focus on Pakistan's key role in encouraging the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process.

Karzai called his visit to Pakistan important as Sharif was committed to ensuring security in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"The first agenda in this trip will be the peace process with Pakistan. In other words, it is the issue of security and it will be discussed and negotiated," Karzai said Saturday.

Pakistani officials were also hopeful about the visit and said Islamabad was willing to facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan.

"The two sides will work together to promote the shared objectives of peace and security in our region," foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said.

"Matters relating to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, bilateral relations and regional situation will be the focus of discussions during the visit," he added.

The spokesman said Pakistan would continue to extend support for the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. "In that regard, whatever steps that we deem are helpful will be taken."

Afghan ambassador Daudzai said both countries had made substantial progress to promote people-to-people contact, education, culture and trade but there was no forward movement in the area of security.

"Afghanistan has always demanded cooperation from Pakistan," said Daudzai.

"Now, the government of Pakistan in the past one year at least has made statements that have been in the right direction, and statements that have given us a lot of hopes, but the gap between those statements and the real action has been too large."

He said Kabul strongly believed that Islamabad's role was key to the Afghan peace process as Pakistani officials have publicly admitted their role in Qatar peace process between the Taliban and the US.

"When they (Taliban) began to open the office in Qatar, Pakistan gave a statement that they have been facilitating contacts between the Taliban and the US, or rather, have helped in establishing that contact.

"Now, we say that if Pakistan can facilitate a contact between the Taliban and the US, they can also facilitate a similar contact between the Afghan government and the Taliban."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »