Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar left Kabul on Monday for Islamabad to discuss the Afghan peace process.
Hekmatyar at the Kabul airport said that he is going to Pakistan with a “message of peace,” adding that he hopes that his trip has a positive impact on the peace process.
On Sunday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said that Hekmatyar, along with a delegation, will be visiting Islamabad for a two-day official trip and “Mr. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will call on the Prime Minister and President and will meet Chairman Senate, Speaker National Assembly, Foreign Minister and other dignitaries. He will deliver a talk at a policy think-tank and interact with the media.”
Hekmatyar's 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, it said.
“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,” according to the statement.
"Pakistan has consistently supported an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process," the statement said.
The statement also said that Hekmatyar will further "strengthen bilateral ties and people-to-people linkages" between the “two brotherly countries and help advance efforts for peace and stability.”
Hekmatyar's trip follows recent visits by Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, to regional countries Pakistan, India. Today Abdullah is in Iran.
“Issues related to peace are on the agenda for the trip. Efforts will be made so that the trip can help the peace process,” said Hafiz-Ur-Rahman Naqi, a member of Hizb-e-Islami, on Sunday.
Reports indicate that some other politicians will also travel to countries in the region, including India and Pakistan, in the near future.