Pakistan and Afghanistan all set to make a fresh start yet again


*ISLAMABAD: *Pakistan and Afghanistan are all set to make a fresh start aimed at resetting their troubled relations marred by years of mistrust and blame game, officials said ahead of a crucial visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani is undertaking his first visit to Islamabad in three-and-a-half years as part of a renewed push by the two estranged neighbours to open a new chapter in their tense ties.

Ghani is scheduled to begin his two-day visit to Islamabad on June 27 at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, diplomatic sources confirmed to The Express Tribune.

The visit is taking place after behind-the-scene efforts by the two sides – particularly by Pakistan – to iron out differences on a number of issues.

Relations between the two neighbours remained tense for over two years mainly because of trust deficit.

Afghanistan has often held Pakistan responsible for the continued unrest in the country while Islamabad has also its own list of grievances such as Kabul’s lack of action against groups launching cross-border attacks.

The deepening trust deficit has not only undermined efforts at improving bilateral ties, but also hampered diplomatic manoeuvres to seek a political solution to the lingering war in Afghanistan.