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Pakistan Army Chief to visit Kabul on Sunday

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Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif would visit Kabul on Sunday for deliberations on resumption of the Afghan reconciliation process and instituting a border management mechanism.

“Chief of Army Staff will visit Kabul on December 27. During his visit, he will hold meetings with political and military leadership of Afghanistan,” Dawn online quoted military spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa as saying on Saturday.

General Sharif’s visit was initially planned for earlier this month — before the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad — but got delayed because of bilateral tensions.

The US had been encouraging General Sharif to visit Afghanistan for easing ties between the two countries and a possible resumption of the reconciliation dialogue between Afghan government and Taliban.

During the visit General Sharif would discuss the reconciliation process including the schedule of the meetings and the militant groups that were expected to join the talks.

The other major agenda would be border management mechanism, Bajwa said.

Pakistani officials say the arrangement for regulating the border was necessary for controlling unauthorised movement across the border.

The officials accuse Afghan government of delaying the finalisation of the new border coordination mechanism due to domestic political impediments.