The meeting aims to deepen Afghanistan, Pakistan relations
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Lt. General Faiz Hameed reached Kabul on a one-day visit Thursday to meet Afghan leaders for “high-level” talks on bilateral relations.
They were received by Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Pakistan Ambassador to Kabul Mansoor Ahmad Khan at the airport.
“During the one-day visit, the minister will hold talks with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and call on [the] leadership of the interim government in Kabul. He will meet other Afghan dignitaries as well,” a statement by the Foreign Office revealed.
The talks will incorporate the “entire spectrum” of the dynamic shared by Afghanistan and Pakistan to deepen the relationship between both countries.
The Foreign Office pointed out that Pakistan has always stood by Afghanistan during hard times by keeping border crossing points open, providing free visas to Afghan nationals, and sending humanitarian aid and assistance in the form of food items and medicines.
Pakistan recently announced over 900 scholarships for Afghan students at educational institutions across the country as well.
“The foreign minister’s visit reflects Pakistan’s consistent policy of supporting the brotherly Afghan people, deepening bilateral trade and economic relations, and facilitating closer people-to-people contacts,” it added.
It has been more than two months since the new setup in Afghanistan was established, SAMAA TV’s Islamabad bureau chief Khalid Azeem said. “But the new government’s direction has still not been determined and questions have been raised on its recognition internationally.”
Pakistan has always been against isolating Afghanistan and supports providing the neighbouring country the freedom to form its own government. “Pakistan has been proposing this on international forums as well,” Azeem said.
In this visit, Pakistan is “acting as a bridge” to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a flashpoint or a breeding ground for terrorism again.
Qureshi’s visit to Kabul comes as Russia is hosting the Taliban for talks in Moscow. Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq attended the talks on Wednesday.
He said that the international community “must step up efforts” to provide humanitarian aid to the neighbouring country.
Peace in Afghanistan will benefit the entire region in terms of stability, secure borders, enhanced connectivity, return of refugees, and countering terrorism, he added. “Pakistan’s constructive role in [the] Afghan peace process is well-recognised and acknowledged by the international community.”