Wednesday Jan 31 2018
Web Desk

Afghan interior minister, intelligence chief in Pakistan for talks: FO

Web Desk
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal/File photo

ISLAMABAD: A high-level Afghan delegation comprising the country’s interior minister and the chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS) is on a visit to Pakistan to hold talks on bilateral cooperation, the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The delegation includes Masoom Stanekzai, head of the NDS, and Afghan Interior Minister Wais Barmak.

“Afghan government had requested that a high level delegation comprising Interior Minister and NDS chief would like to visit Pakistan with a message from Afghan President and for discussions about cooperation between the two countries. Delegation is here and will have talks today,” FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

Afghanistan's envoy to Pakistan, Dr Oman Zakhilwal shared on Twitter a picture of the visiting delegation. 

A renewed wave of terrorist attacks has hit Afghanistan in the recent weeks, as the Taliban and Daesh escalate their offensive against the Kabul government.

On Monday, Kabul suffered its third major assault in recent days when a suicide attack on an Afghan army battalion killed at least 11 soldiers and wounded 16.

On Saturday, a Taliban suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul, killing at least 103 people — mainly civilians — and wounding 235, in one of the worst bombings in the city in recent years.

Also read: US claims Haqqani network behind Kabul ambulance bombing

And, on January 20, Taliban fighters stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental Hotel and killed at least 25 people — the majority of them foreigners — in an assault lasting more than 12 hours.

Pakistan has strongly condemned the terror attacks and conveyed its condolences at the bloodshed, with the FO spokesperson stressing that "terrorism is not the way forward".

In November, Pakistan handed to Afghanistan 27 people suspected of belonging to the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network, Pakistan's Foreign Office said earlier this week.

A delegation from Islamabad is to visit Afghanistan on February 3, Pakistan´s embassy in Kabul said.

"The delegation, led by the foreign secretary, will hold constructive and meaningful discussions with Afghanistan on all issues including counter-terrorism, peace and reconciliation and repatriation of refugees," the embassy said in a statement.