Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan has traveled to Pakistan on a two-day official visit. He met in Islamabad with the prime minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi. President Ghani’s trip comes days after the Taliban announced a new year-long cease-fire that was aimed at opening peace talks with the government. According to reports, Mr Ghani will sign “agreements” with Pakistan during his stay there. Afghanistan’s former ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Bilal Ahmad Gurzi has briefed that Ashraf Ghani is expected to sign many agreements including an agreement for security forces training by Pakistan Army. He will also sign deals on border trade and transit rights..
Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan:
The Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani is currently visiting Pakistan. The visit is aimed at boosting the bilateral trade and transit between the two countries. Mr Ghani is expected to sign various agreements with his Pakistani counterpart during the visit. The Afghan president will meet with the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari. The Afghan delegation is also expected to hold meetings with business leaders and influential people in the Pakistani capital. During the visit, the Afghan president is also expected to meet the Afghan-Pakistan Friendship Association. He will attend a cultural function and visit a polio eradication centre.
What agreements are expected to be signed during Ashraf Ghane’s trip?
The Afghan president is expected to hold talks with the government of Pakistan on the matters of security cooperation, trade and transit agreements, and strengthening of relations between the two countries. He is also expected to raise the issue of safe return of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Security cooperation is regarded as a key area for the bilateral ties between the two countries.
Both the countries are looking forward to extend security cooperation to other areas like counter-terrorism and combating drug-trafficking. The two countries have also signed several bilateral trade agreements to boost trade relations. The latest agreement was signed in 2015 during the tenure of former President Hamid Karzai. The agreement was signed after a number of rounds of negotiations.
Bilateral Trade and Transit Agreement (BTTAA)
The Afghan President is also expected to sign a bilateral trade and transit agreement with Pakistan. The current signed agreement is valid for 10 years and was signed in October 2015. It covers various areas of trade and transit like trade, transit, customs, and intellectual property rights. The current trade volume between the two countries stands at $3 billion.
Both the countries are looking forward to enhance the trade ties to $10 billion mark by 2030. The current transit volume between the two countries is around 30,000 trucks carrying per day. The agreement will give the transit rights to increase the volume to 50,000 trucks per year.
Afghanistan-Pakistan Border crossing and transit rights agreement (BPBRA)
The Afghan president is also expected to sign a border crossing and transit rights agreement with Pakistan. It was signed in January 2015 and was valid for five years. The deal was signed after the Afghan government faced a lot of logistic problems at the border crossings with Pakistan due to the security issues. It was also aimed at facilitating the movement of people and goods to and from the war-ravaged country. The Afghan government had waived off the visa requirement for the citizens of Pakistan. The deal was also aimed at facilitating the transit of goods from and to Afghanistan.
Other deals expected to be signed during Ashraf Ghane’s trip
The Afghan president is expected to sign a number of other agreements during his visit to Pakistan. He is also expected to sign an agreement on security forces training by Pakistani Army. The two countries are also expected to sign an agreement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Friendship Association. The Pakistani side had proposed this idea during the last visit of Mr Ghani to Pakistan. The Pakistani media has released reports saying that the Afghan president will sign a number of agreements during his trip to Pakistan. The Afghan government has not issued any statement regarding this yet.
The visit of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan is aimed at boosting the bilateral ties between the two countries. The visit will also help the Afghan president to sign agreements related to security, trade, and transit with the Pakistan. The visit comes at a time when the Taliban announced a new year-long cease-fire that was aimed at opening peace talks with the government. During the visit, Mr Ghani is also expected to meet the Afghan-Pakistan Friendship Association.