Sharif Leaves for Kabul to Discuss Peace and Development

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited neighboring Afghanistan on Tuesday to discuss bringing peace to border areas that are strongholds of Taliban militants.

Sharif, on his second visit to Afghanistan since coming to power in 2013, was accompanied by Army Chief Raheel Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Sartaj Aziz, his adviser on national security and foreign affairs, the prime minister’s office said in a text message.

While Pakistan has long been accused of supporting Taliban militants in a bid to gain influence in Afghanistan, Nawaz Sharif’s government has pledged to help bring peace to boost stability and economic growth in the region.

“An unprecedented delegation filled with optimism for common peace and development with our brothers,” military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said on Twitter, referring to Sharif’s one-day trip.

General Sharif, who isn’t related to the prime minister, is going with the prime minister to show that the military is on the same page as civilian authorities, former national security adviser Mahmud Durrani said by phone.

Pakistan should use its sway over the Taliban to bring them to talks with the Afghan government and get rid of misperceptions that the military uses the group to retain clout over Afghanistan, he said.

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