ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived here Wednesday on a two-day state visit. Caretaker Federal Minister of Youth Affairs Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif received the distinguished guest at the Chaklala Airbase. The Afghan president came on an invitation extended by President Pervez Musharraf during the concluding session of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Grand Jirga. President Karzai, accompanied by some of his cabinet members and businessmen, was given a 21-gun salute while two children in traditional costume presented him flower bouquet.
Karzai will hold formal talks with President Musharraf, after which both will hold a press conference. The meeting is expected to focus on bilateral relations, reconstruction in Afghanistan as well as regional and international situation. President Musharraf will host a state banquet in honour of President Karzai. The distinguished guest will also lay a floral wreath at the Pakistan Monument and plant a sapling at Shakarparian, and then later hold meetings with Pakistani businessmen and Afghan nationals.
Before he leaves, Karzai will meet Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammadmian Soomro, after which he will return to Kabul. President Karzai is the second head of state to visit Pakistan after Turkish President Abdullah Gul since the re-election of President Musharraf for a second term.-SANA