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Ex-Afghan PM Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to arrive in Pak on 3-day visit

<p id="content">Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, former Afghan Prime Minister and leader of the Hizb-e-Islami party, will arrive in Islamabad on Monday on an important three-day visit amid the Intra-Afghan dialogue which is currently underway in an effort to end the decades-long war in the country.</p>
Hekmatyar will be accompanied by a delegation as part of the ongoing effort to end the unrest in the war-torn country.

This is the second high-level visit from Afghanistan after Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghan peace Council, came to Pakistan in late September.

Confirming the trip, the Pakistan Foreign Office said: "During the visit, Hekmatyar will call on the Prime Minister and President and will meet Senate Chairman, National Assembly Apeaker, Foreign Minister and other dignitaries.

"He will deliver a talk at a policy think-tank and interact with the media.

"The visit will provide an opportunity for an exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations as well as people-to-people interaction."

The statement highlighted that "Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal ties with Afghanistan, rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions".

"Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people.

"Pakistan has consistently supported an inclusive, broad based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace process," the statement added.

According to analysts, the visit holds importance as the Afghan government pushes towards using the US and Pakistan to compel the Taliban to announce a complete ceasefire from terror attacks as they disrupt the process of the intra-Afghan dialogue.

Hekmatyar was a Mujahideen leader, who fought against the former Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan.

He served as the Afghan Prime Minister in the 1990s.

After the ouster of Taliban regime in 2001 by the US, Hekmatyar fought against the US-led forces.

But in 2016, he signed a peace deal with President Asharaf Ghani, ending his 20 years of exile and resistance.

Pakistan government sources have that its role in facilitating the peace talks remains pivotal, adding that Islamabad has no favourites and would support whatever decision people of Afghanistan would take during the intra-Afghan dialogue..