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Pakistani National Assembly Delegation Arrives In Afghanistan For Meetings

Pakistan' parliament speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is heading his country's delegation to Afghanistan. (file photo)

A 15-member delegation from Pakistan's National Assembly has arrived in Kabul, with its leader saying his country is committed to aiding peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and his delegation will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other officials during a two-day visit.

The rare visit comes weeks after relations between the neighbors were strained following Pakistan's move to close the border with Afghanistan in response to the February 17 attack on a Sufi shrine in the city of Sehwan that killed 90 worshipers.

Pakistan claimed an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) militant group had crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan to carry out the attack.

Afghanistan denied the claim but said it would cooperate with Pakistan to investigate the incident. The border was reopened in March.

Omar Zakhilwal, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, and Sadiq both said the visit by the delegation was an unprecedented step in bettering relations between the two countries.

Sadiq stressed the need for cooperation between the two countries to eliminate the threat of terrorism.

He also emphasized the need to promote trade, increase people-to-people contacts, and have further parliamentary exchanges.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, Dawn, and Pakistan Today