ISLAMABAD, Nov 21: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Afghanistan on Nov 30 for discussions on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The visit follows a meeting between Prime Minister Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai hosted by British Premier David Cameron in London last month in which both leaders renewed their commitment to peace and reconciliation process.

A five-member delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC), led by its Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, also visited Islamabad from Tuesday till Thursday for discussions on efforts for promotion of peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

During its stay here, the delegation met Prime Minister Sharif and Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz.

“The visit is part of Pakistan’s continuing engagement with HPC for the facilitation of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said.

Another senior official denied rumours that the delegation had met Taliban leader Mullah Baradar, who was recently freed by Pakistani authorities on Afghan government’s demand for facilitating the reconciliation process.

Talking to the delegation, the prime minister said that Pakistan would continue to extend all possible facilitation for Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

Pakistan, he said, had always supported a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan and it would continue playing a constructive and positive role to facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

HPC chairman Salahuddin Rabbani updated the prime minister on the progress so far made in the peace process and said his (prime minister’s) visit to Afghanistan was being awaited and was expected to provide momentum to the peace and reconciliation process.

A Pakistani official told Dawn said that talks with the Afghan delegation were largely about assistance offered by the Pakistan government for opening channels with the insurgency leadership for reconciliation process and proposed facilitation of refugees to cast votes in Afghan elections.

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