Think-tank delegation discusses Pak-Afghan ties in Kabul

Published August 25, 2023
A delegation from the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad called on cting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi durig a visit to Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy X
A delegation from the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad called on cting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi durig a visit to Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy X

ISLAMABAD: On the invitation of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Kabul, a delegation from the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad visited Afghanistan from August 21-23.

The delegation was led by Director General ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and included the Director of the Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa Amina Khan.

During the visit, the ISSI delegation held interactions which included a call on acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and dialogue with the Centre for Strategic Studies, headed by Waliullah Shaheen.

A statement issued here said during the delegation’s meeting with the acting foreign minister, Obaidur Rehman Nizamani, the charge d’ affaires of Pakistan in Kabul, was also present.

Afghan foreign minister highlights interim govt’s steps to improve economy and address corruption

The meeting focused on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations where the acting foreign minister underlined the closeness of ties between the two countries, reinforced by numerous commonalities of faith, culture and geography.

Mr Muttaqi briefed the delegation about progress achieved under the interim government to ensure overall security in the country, improving the economy, controlling poppy cultivation and addressing corruption. He also highlighted notable progress registered in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and talked about the need to further focus on regional trade and connectivity.

During the meeting, Sohail Mahmood reviewed the developments during the two years of Afghan interim government, particularly in the realm of security and stability, economy, curbing corruption and reducing poppy cultivation. He also talked about the importance of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and the recent positives in terms of enhanced bilateral trade.

Mr Mahmood underscored Pakistan’s role in efforts for stabilisation of Afghanistan and stressed the urgency of addressing matters relating to border security and counter-terrorism through close consultations and collaboration.

He said: “Positive mutual engagement is not a matter of choice, but of necessity.”

He added that it was time for Pakistan and Afghanistan to place bilateral relationship on a sounder basis that addresses the security concerns, strengthens the efforts for a robust economic partnership and promoted the agenda of regional connectivity and economic integration.“

Waliullah Shaheen stressed the importance of bilateral relations, adding the relationship must be approached through the prism of a new narrative revolving around ‘friendship and mutual understanding’.

The ISSI and CSS agreed to strengthen mutual exchanges as part of think-tank collaboration and people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2023

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