LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday left for a three-day official visit to London where he will attend a trilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, DawnNews reported.
Prime Minister Sharif will participate in tripartite negotiations to be held among Pakistan, Britain and Afghanistan at the summit hosted by Cameron.
Afghanistan will demand an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when the leaders of both countries meet at the summit to discuss how to end years of insurgency, Reuters had earlier quoted an Afghan official as saying.
The whereabouts of Baradar has been the source of intense speculation since Pakistan announced his release on Sept 20. Pakistani sources say he is still kept in a safe house and is closely watched by his Pakistani handlers.
Afghanistan believes Mullah Baradar, who was once a close friend of the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, has enough clout to persuade the Taliban to make peace, but his prolonged stay in Pakistan may have marred his reputation among fighters.
National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz also accompanied the premier on his visit whereas Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is already present in London.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Information Minister Pervez Rashid saw the premier off at the airport today.
During the three-day visit to London, the premier will also represent Pakistan at the World Economic Forum. He is moreover scheduled to address the Forum.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharif is also scheduled to meet with Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, King Abdullah II of Jordan and his Malaysian counterpart Najeeb Razak as well as President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the World Economic Forum.