ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday emphasised the need for coordination among regional countries on Afghanistan for regional stability.

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, while talking to Iran’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Affairs Hassan Kazmi Qomi, said Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries have a key role to play in the region’s peace and stability.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, FM Jilani “emphasised the need for enhanced coordination for regional stability”.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) pose significant threats emanating from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan has also been noted.

The TTP with historical ties to the Afghan Taliban has utilised Afghanistan as a sanctuary, launching attacks against Pakistan since the Taliban returned to power in 2021.

A recent bombing in Kerman (Iran) on the occasion of IRGC Commander Qasim Soleimani’s death anniversary was carried out by ISKP.

While the Taliban and ISKP have ideological differences, the situation in Afghanistan has provided conditions for ISKP to exploit and conduct transnational terrorist activities, impacting regional stability.

Addressing these threats requires coordinated efforts among regional countries, intelligence sharing, and diplomatic measures to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups targeting neighboring countries.

At the fifth Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan hosted by Russia last September, regional countries had called on the Taliban administration to take effective measures to dismantle terrorist groups within the country. The meeting in Kazan emphasised the importance of ensuring Afghanistan’s territory no longer serves as a “terrorism hotspot”.

Mr Jilani, in his meeting with Iranian official, underscored Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Earlier, Ambassador Qomi held extensive talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Special Representative on Afghanistan Asif Durrani, on the situation in Afghanistan and the regional processes for peace and dialogue.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2024

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