Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will discuss the reconciliation process in Afghanistan during his visit next week to Qatar, where the Afghan Taliban are set to open a political office.

Gilani will travel to Qatar on Monday for a two-day visit.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is expected to accompany the Premier.

Besides discussing the Taliban's plan to open an office, Gilani will explain Pakistan's position on the Afghan reconciliation process.

"Our Prime Minister will have discussions in this connection with the Qatari leadership," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told the media.

“Gilani will inform the Qatari leaders about the Pakistani perspective in this situation," he said.

The Premier is expected to be given a briefing by the Qatari leadership on efforts being made for the Afghan peace process and the Taliban's plans to open a political office, official sources said.

The Taliban announced last month that they had struck a deal to open a political office in Qatar to facilitate direct negotiations on the endgame in Afghanistan -- the first indication that they might be ready for formal talks with US-led coalition forces.

The move could help revive the reconciliation process that had stalled following the assassination of Afghan High Peace Council chief Burhanuddin Rabbani in September last year.

Though Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he will back the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar, there is considerable unease in Pakistan and Afghanistan over any reconciliation effort that keeps the two countries out of the loop.

Pakistan has been jockeying for a key position for itself in moves to end the 11-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, primarily to reduce what it perceives as India's growing influence in the war-torn country.

US officials have said many Afghan Taliban leaders are sheltering in Pakistani territory and its military and intelligence agencies have links with the militants.

Ties between Islamabad and Kabul have been strained since Rabbani's assassination, which Afghan officials blamed on elements based on Pakistani soil.

However, the ice was broken when Foreign Minister Khar visited Afghanistan last week for talks aimed at reviving cooperation for the reconciliation process.

Khar said Pakistan would encourage militant groups like the Haqqani network or the Taliban to lay down their arms if asked by Afghanistan.