Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Pakistan and Afghanistan officials Tuesday held high-level discussions in Taliban-ruled Kabul after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called off their months-long ceasefire with Islamabad.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani headed a high-level delegation during her one-day visit for political consultations with the leadership of the interim Afghanistan government and discussed multilateral matters of importance.
The Foreign Office said Khar, in a meeting with Afghanistan's Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, which was also attended by Minister for Mines and Petroleum Shahabuddin Delawar, focused on bilateral trade, connectivity, and people-to-people contacts.
Khar and Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi along with their respective delegations also met and discussed matters of bilateral importance.
Their meeting also focused on political consultations between the two governments, the Foreign Office said.
“A range of bilateral issues of common interest including cooperation in education, health, trade and investment, regional connectivity, people-to-people contacts, and socioeconomic projects are discussed,” the Foreign Office said.
Following the high-level meetings, Khar concluded her visits and headed back to Islamabad.
Earlier, Khar also attended a luncheon meeting hosted in her honour by Afghanistan’s Women's Chamber of Commerce in Kabul.
The minister announced that Pakistan would give special preference to the import of products from the businesses run by the women of Afghanistan.
Khar underlined the important role of women in society and expressed Pakistan’s keen interest in strengthening linkages between the women entrepreneurs of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Moreover, a leading Afghan women's group urged Khar not to forget their plight as she visited Kabul.
"You serve as an example of the status of women in our neighbouring country," the Afghan Women's Network, representing several activist groups, said in an open letter to Khar.
"We call on you to use your visit not only as a minister but as a woman and as a Muslim woman leader to support the women of Afghanistan and strengthen our solidarity."
The TTP leadership announced the end of the ceasefire a day earlier and cited the latest military operation against their fighters in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a reason, the
According to a report published in The News, Pakistani militants had become active in southern parts of KP and particularly in South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.
The government had to postpone the polio campaign in Lakki Marwat district on Monday due to frequent attacks by the militants on police and operation launched against them.
Several rounds of talks were held with the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan to find an amicable solution to the years-long armed conflict.
Religious leaders and tribal leaders were also involved and sent to Kabul to persuade the Pakistani Taliban to soften their demands.
The militants had lately withdrawn from certain demands but they wanted the government to restore the previous status of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and their armed return to Pakistan.
The meetings came days after the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman was reopened. It was closed for a week's time after a deadly attack from the neighbouring country.
In a terror attack from the Afghan side, a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier was martyred and two other personnel were injured.
It was reopened following talks in multiple flag meetings. In the last emergency flag meeting, the authorities of both sides also agreed to foil subversion and deploy unarmed personnel from both countries.