The office of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said in a statement that the second deputy of the office, Mohammad Mohaqiq, was invited by the Lahore Center for Peace Research to attend a meeting on the prospect of peace in Afghanistan.
The office said Mohaqiq has met with a number of Pakistani officials about Afghan peace.
“This trip was done based on the invitation of the Lahore Center for Peace Research and peace talks were the topic of the trip,” said Omid Maisam, the deputy spokesman for the chief executive.
“Mr. Mohaqiq clearly reiterated that cooperation and efforts by Pakistan and the region can be very useful (for the process),” said Maisam.
Mr. Mohaqiq in interview with some Pakistani news agencies welcomed the Taliban’s decision to consider a reduction in violence.
He has also welcomed China’s Belt and Road initiative and has called it a “real game-changer” in the region, although it has been criticized by the US.
“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a very important project. This would provide the basis for the success of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It could also prove to be a real game-changer for the whole region,” Mohaqiq said, quoted by DiploMag Magazine.
But the Presidential Palace says it was not informed about the trip. The High Peace Council stated it sees no benefit in Mohaqiq’s trip for the peace process and calls for an explanation.
“I should say clearly that they have no legal right or responsibility in this respect. He was removed from his job as the deputy chief executive and now that he has gone (to Pakistan), he (Mohaqiq) should explain to the people (about his trip),” a member of the High Peace Council, Abdulhaq Haqyar, said.
Previously, there were rumors about Mohaqiq’s meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. But the Chief Executive’s Office said the meeting has not happened.