“During his day-long visit the army chief will hold meetings with senior political and military leadership of Afghanistan,” the spokesperson for the Pakistani military’s media wing said in a Twitter message.
News of General Raheel’s visit to Afghanistan comes in wake of reports of increased violence and terror threats as Taliban insurgents carry out massive attacks on Afghan cities, fearing a collapse of the civilian government.
Meanwhile, senior Afghan officials hope the upcoming visit of Pakistan’s highest military official will not only provide and impetus to efforts for resurrecting a moribund peace process but also help mend fractured ties between the two neighbours.
Last week, President Ghani said the peace process should resume “in weeks not months”. And a section of the Afghan media quoted National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar as saying that talks could begin in “two to three weeks”.
Former Afghan army chief Gen Sher Muhammad Karimi had said on Monday that he was “optimistic about the outcome of Pakistan Army chief’s visit who has an important role in the peace process. “I hope Gen Raheel Sharif can encourage the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process,” he told The Express Tribune in Kabul.