MoS for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar discussed 'range of bilateral issues of common interest' with Afghan officials, FO says
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday held political consultations with Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul, Foreign Office (FO) said.
Khar is in Kabul, leading a high-level delegation of Pakistani officials to meet the Afghan government officials during a day's visit. The bilateral talks came after Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called off a months-long ceasefire with Pakistan. It is rare for Pakistani dignitaries to stay overnight in Kabul.
A statement issued by the FO said that "a range of bilateral issues of common interest, including cooperation in education, health, trade and investment, regional connectivity, people-to-people contacts and socio-economic projects were discussed" in the meeting.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Afghanistan Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq also attended the meeting.
Khar touched down in Kabul this morning, where Deputy Minister for Economy Abdul Latif Nazari and Head of Mission of Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani welcomed her.
The issue of the TTP ceasefire is likely to come under discussion between the two sides.
“Ms Hina Khar will certainly convey the concerns about attacks on Pakistan security forces emanating from Afghanistan, regulating the movement of people to and from trade matters in view of the increased trade. Improved clearance process and facilities on Afghan side and finally assure the Afghan side of Pakistan’s humanitarian assistance,” former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani told The News.
Announcing the end of the ceasefire, the TTP leadership cited the latest military operation against their fighters in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a reason.
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.