Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will soon visit Afghanistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Thursday, in what is seen as Islamabad's bid to diffuse tension with Kabul.

"Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will make a visit to Afghanistan soon as part of continuous engagement for peace in that country," the spokesperson said during a weekly briefing.

On March 26-27, Uzbekistan hosted a two-day Afghanistan peace conference in the capital, Tashkent. In attendance were more than 20 countries including representatives from Central Asian countries, the United States, Germany, China, Pakistan and Russia.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini were among the high-ranking officials who participated in the meeting. Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif represented Pakistan.

Leading the Pakistan delegation to the conference, Asif emphasised the need of a regional approach for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. He appreciated Uzbekistan and its leadership on this regional initiative for peace in Afghanistan and cooperation on counter-terrorism and connectivity.

He said Pakistan had consistently stressed for resolution of Afghan conflict through a political settlement. He said that bringing Taliban to the table and establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility of the international community.

Asif reiterated Pakistan’s support for President Ghani’s national peace and reconciliation plan unveiled during Kabul process meeting on February 28 and his offer of peace talks to the Taliban under an Afghan-led and owned process. He said there was a need of collective pressure on Taliban to avail this opportunity to shun violence and join the peace process.

He expressed concern over unchecked proliferation of Daesh and phenomenal increase in the drug production in Afghanistan. He emphasised the need for cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours to prevent cross-border movement of terrorists and criminal networks adding that Pakistan’s proposal entitled “Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity was aimed at developing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation in security, counter-terrorism, border controls and smooth return of Afghan refugees to Afghanistan.