Several Afghan politicians, including Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor, second deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqeq, and presidential candidate Abdul Latif Pedram on Friday left Kabul to Pakistan to attend a meeting in which some members of the Taliban are also said to attend.
Pakistan’s Daily Times says in a report that the conference will be held in the scenic town of Bhurban.
Other important figures include the High Peace Council Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili, presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar, former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, former governor Ismail Khan and Jamiat-e-Islami member Ahmad Zia Massoud.
According to the Daily Times report, the event has been organized by Lahore Center for Peace Research (LCPR) and the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI).
The report says that at least 30 senior Afghan leaders have been invited to the conference.
Former president Hamid Karzai's office in a statement said that Karzai will not attend the meeting due to a limited time for preparations. Karzai thanked Pakistan for hosting the meeting and said he will visit the neighboring country in another opportunity.
Daily Mail quoted sources as saying that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also speak at the meeting while Pakistani President Arif Alvi will host a dinner for the senior Afghan political leaders.
The conference has assumed importance in view of the growing activities to press for a political solution to the Afghan conflict, the report said.
The report says that the Bhurban conference will provide an opportunity for the Afghan leaders and Pakistani experts to exchange views on the peace process.
Afghan officials have said that President Ghani will visit Islamabad on June 27.
Earlier this month, the Afghan politicians, who are attending the Pakistan meeting, attended an intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow where they called on the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire but the group rejected the calls and said a ceasefire will “only benefit the foreigners”.