September 22, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Asif Khan Durrani visited Kabul on Thursday and held talks with the Taliban administration’s acting foreign minister, according an Afghan foreign ministry statement.
Durrani, along with a high-level delegation, met acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul on an unannounced visit.
The visit comes amid tensions between the neighbouring countries over an uptick in terrorist attacks by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in the country.
Earlier this month, the Pakistan Army said the TTP used Afghan soil for attacks on check posts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral.
According to the military, four security personnel were martyred when a large number of the TTP fighters launched an attack on two border posts on Sept 6. During the exchange of fire, 12 TTP terrorists were killed.
The same day, Pakistani and Afghan forces also traded fire at Torkham border after a controversy surfaced over construction of a check post. The escalation had resulted in the closure of the border for nearly nine days.
It is believed that Pakistan has sent the delegation to Kabul to ease the tensions.
In a statement posted on social media platform X, Afghan Deputy Spokesman Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal said it was decided during today’s meeting that joint committees should solve security issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan while major routes should not be closed due to security and political problems.
د اصف دراني په مشرۍ پاکستاني هیئت د بهرنیو چارو له سرپرست وزیرسره وکتل
د بهرنیو چارو، وزیر ښاغلي مولوي امیرخان متقي د افغانستان لپاره د پاکستان ځانګړي استازي ښاغلي آصف دراني په مشرۍ له یوه هیئت سره په کتنه کې په امنیتي مسایلو سربیره په پاکستان کې د افغان مهاجرو د نیونې، … pic.twitter.com/LYsm0mLZGi
— Hafiz Zia Ahmad (@HafizZiaAhmad1) September 21, 2023
“Pakistani special envoy and Afghan foreign minister underlined the need to take urgent measures for the solution to the problems and to prevent untoward incidents in future,” he said.
“Being neighbours and Muslim nations, Pakistan and Afghanistan must avoid issuing statements against each that create a gap between the two sides,” the Afghan spokesman added.
He quoted the Afghan foreign minister as saying that his government would not allow anyone to spoil relations between the two countries, adding that the policy of the Islamic Emirate was based on goodwill and sincerity.
Meanwhile, Durrani called for both countries’ cooperation in connection to the security problems, according to the Afghan spokesman.
He said Pakistan would find a solution to the cross-border movement of passengers, bilateral trade and transit.
Pakistan, Durrani was quoted as saying, was ready for cooperation with Afghanistan in many areas. He informed the Afghan side that Islamabad would resume scholarships for the Afghan students.
The statement said both sides discussed security problems and arrests of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, treatment of Afghans at Chaman-Spin Boldak border and transit trade.
Pakistan is yet to issue a statement regarding the visit.
Commenting on the meeting, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Kabul Mansoor Ahmad Khan highlighted that today’s visit was the first after recent incidents of TTP attacks on army posts in Chitral and closure of Torkham crossing.
“Hopefully, the visit will provide an opportunity for direct interaction with Afghan government leaders and officials with a view to reach some understandings on bilateral issues, particularly cooperation in dealing with TTP fighters based on Afghan soil,” Mansoor Khan told Dawn.com.