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MPs caution Ghani against visiting Pakistan

MPs caution Ghani against visiting Pakistan

Oct 07, 2017 - 18:52

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday asked President Ashraf Ghani not to visit Pakistan at the invitation of the country’s military.

Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa last week arrived in Kabul and pledged to support an Afghan-led and owned reconciliation process during his meeting with President Ghani.

They talked about terrorism, bilateral trade and mutual cooperation, with Gen. Bajwa extending an invitation to President Ghani to visit Pakistan.

The president has reportedly held consultative meetings with senior politicians, jihadi leaders, lawmakers and experts after the meeting.

Some lawmakers said the Pakistan army chief’s invitation to the president was against diplomatic norms and asked Ghani not to travel to Islamabad.

Salama Khogyani, a lawmaker, said: “The invitation to the president should have been extended by the Pakistani president, prime minister or parliament not Gen. Bajwa. The president has accepted the invitation.”

“Peace is the prime demand of the people of Afghanistan. President Ghani should not visit Pakistan and it would be better to send his second voice president or the High Peace Council Chairman.”

Ghulam Farooq Majroh, another lawmaker, said praised the Afghan government’s foreign policy and support of foreign allies, but asked Ghani not to visit Pakistan until Islamabad honored its pledges.

Lawmaker Ali Akbar Qasemi said it would earn disgrace to the president if he visited the neighboring country at the invitation of a soldier.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi accused Pakistan of “double-standards” and said the president should be cautioned in relationships with Pakistan.

“The Pakistani military delegation provided strong commitment to destroying terrorist safe havens on their territory, pressing Taliban who refuse to reconcile and to encourage Pakistani ulema to not to call the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan as jihad,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahimi said President Ghani’s trip might take place in the next six months as he would be very careful in accepting the invitation.