Khar talks security, economy with Kabul regime

Published November 30, 2022
KABUL: Hina Rabbani Khar is welcomed by Amir Khan Muttaqi upon her arrival in Afghanistan.— Reuters
KABUL: Hina Rabbani Khar is welcomed by Amir Khan Muttaqi upon her arrival in Afghanistan.— Reuters

KARACHI: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar concluded a one-day trip to Kabul on Tuesday, where she held wide-ranging talks with Afghan Taliban leadership on regional security issues and economic cooperation, Dawn.com reported.

Ms Khar is the first minister to travel to the Afghan capital since the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took over in April this year.

The Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that she met acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mut­t­a­­qi shortly after landing in Kabul. Pakistan’s Special Re­­presentative for Afgha­n­istan Mohammad Sadiq was also part of the delegation.

The two sides discussed matters related to enhanced regional security with mu­­tual cooperation, including in countering terrorism, and issues and policies which would impact the interim government’s engagement with the international community, the statement said.

Both sides accepted the significance of sustained bilateral political dialogue and the vital role of institutional mechanisms to advance the myriad tracks of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, it said.

Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to introduce new me­­chanisms for bilateral relat­ions to review all common op­portunities and problems through dialogue and to make progress, Afghan officials said.

“Both sides have also ag­­r­eed to take positive and productive steps for a solution to the problems,” Afghan deputy foreign affairs spo­kesperson Hafiz Zia Takal said in a tweet.

According to the spokesperson, Mr Muttaqi raised the issues of the release of Afg­han detainees in Pakistan, facilities for passengers in cross-border movement, and progress in trade and transit.

According to the FO, Ms Khar also met with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, Minister for Mines and Petroleum Shahabuddin Delawar, and Commerce Minister of Afghan Interim Govern­ment, Haji Nooruddin Azizi.

In her engagements, the minister underscored the imperatives for the international community to practically engage with the interim Afghan government to help Afghanistan address the dire humanitarian situation and the challenges of reconstruction and socio-economic development. She also stressed that the unfreezing of Afghanistan’s financial assets would contribute to this end, the statement noted.

Ms Khar’s visit to Kabul came hours after the TTP ended its ceasefire and directed its activists to carry out attacks.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2022

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