On his first Afghan visit, Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf met leaders of the opposition alliance, the Afghan National Front (ANF), on Thursday in Kabul. He assured them of friendly ties with all Afghan ethnic groups.
“We want to work closely with Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek leaders to strengthen our relations with these communities for stability in Afghanistan,” Ashraf commented.
The meeting points to a new direction in Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan that has traditionally been based on supporting ethnic Pashtuns.
Before leaving for Kabul, he told journalists talks with Afghan officials would involve political and trade relations including the peace process. He added that he will also raise the issue of cross border attacks on Pakistani territory. These attacks are on the increase and have caused military causalities. The Pakistani Taliban led by Mowlana Fazlullah have admitted to carrying out the attacks from suspected sanctuaries in Konar province of Afghanistan.
On his visit, the Prime Minister also attended the first trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan and United Kingdom.