Islamabad: Dozens of Afghan political leaders are holding a peace conference in neighboring Pakistan to pave the way for further Afghan-to-Afghan dialogue.

The three-day conference comes ahead of President Ashraf Ghani's visit to Pakistan next week.

Ghani, his political opponents and a broad swath of civil society have been meeting in recent days with the United States' special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who is continuing to press for talks between the Afghan government, the opposition and the Taliban.

There are no representatives of the Taliban at Saturday's meeting near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

However, attending the conference is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who struck a peace deal with Ghani's government and was taken off a US terrorist list. That peace deal was touted as a blueprint for an agreement with the Taliban.