KABUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s desires to have peace and stability in Afghanistan during his meeting with the country’s interim Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund in Kabul on Thursday.
FM Qureshi arrived in the Afghan capital earlier today for talks with the Taliban leadership as they seek a path out of international isolation. Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed also accompanied him on his second visit to the Afghan capital since the Taliban took power.
He expressed Pakistan’s determination to help Afghan people on humanitarian grounds and said, “Pakistan wants to enhance bilateral trade with Afghanistan.”
“Visa facilities to Afghan citizens, especially the business community, opening up of new border points, and facilitating movement are steps taken by Pakistan to facilitate the people of Afghanistan,” FM Qureshi pointed out during his meeting with PM Akhund.
He expressed Pakistan’s resolve to play a constructive role, in collaboration with Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, for peace and stability in the region.
Both the officials also exchanged views on matters of bilateral interest, enhancing cooperation in the economic sector, including trade and commerce, and various options to bring the Afghan people out of an ongoing financial crisis.
Afghan PM Mullah Muhammad Hasan Akhund received FM Qureshi at Arg. Bilateral talks underway in presence of leading Afghan Ministers for facilitating people to people interaction, trade, transit & connectivity between two brotherly nations @ForeignOfficePk@PakinAfg pic.twitter.com/ngI2mH0eoP— Mansoor Ahmad Khan (@ambmansoorkhan) October 21, 2021
Afghan interim premier Akhund also thanked the Pakistani leadership for extending timely humanitarian assistance to the war-torn nation.
The foreign minister is also scheduled to meet Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and other Afghan leaders in the Afghan capital.
“The talks between the two sides will cover the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and focus on ways and means to deepen cooperation in diverse areas. Utilising the opportunity, the foreign minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on issues of regional peace and stability,” read a Foreign Office (FO) statement.
FM Qureshi is the third foreign minister after those of Qatar and Uzbekistan to visit since the Taliban took power in mid-August.
On Wednesday, the Russian government hosted a high-level Taliban delegation and officials from 10 countries, including China and Pakistan, to push the Taliban for action against Islamic State fighters which it says have massed in perennially volatile Afghanistan.
In return, the Taliban – which is facing economic and humanitarian crises within its borders – urged the international community to recognise their interim government.