By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday received visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Islamabad where they discussed the Afghan peace process and bilateral relations.
"Matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation in various sectors and regional situation were discussed in the meeting," the Pakistani Information Ministry said in a tweet following the meeting.
Ghani arrived in Islamabad on a two- day visit on Thursday amid intensified efforts to find a political settlement of the decades-long conflict in the war-torn country.
Accompanied by a delegation of ministers and businessmen, Ghani was received by Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood at Noor Khan Airbase.
The Afghan president's visit -- third since 2014 -- comes days after Islamabad hosted several Afghan leaders at tourist destination Murree to discuss ways to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, which has entered its 18th year.
Pakistan's state-run broadcaster PTV reported that Khan received the visiting president at prime ministry house and introduced his cabinet members as this is Ghani's first visit since Imran Khan became prime minister.
Later, the two leaders held a one-on-one meeting and discussed matters of mutual interests, mainly the ongoing reconciliation process and prospects of improving trade and business ties between the two neighbors, the PTV reported.
Prior to his meeting with Khan, Ghani met with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad and discussed the Afghan peace process.
Afghan leader "appreciated Pakistan's efforts for peace process in Afghanistan," according to the Information Ministry.
"He [Ghani] was talking to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. Foreign Minister said #Pakistan will continue playing its role for the peace in Afghanistan with good intentions," the ministry said in another tweet.
During the visit, Ghani will also meet President Arif Alvi while Prime Minister Imran Khan will hold delegation-level talks.
The wide-ranging talks between the two sides focus on strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas such as politics, trade, economy, security, peace and reconciliation, education and people-to-people exchanges.
Following his meetings in Islamabad, Ghani will travel to Lahore to participate in a business forum attended by business representatives from both countries.
He had earlier undertaken a bilateral visit to Pakistan in November 2014 and subsequently came to attend a ministerial conference of Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process in Islamabad in December 2015.