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Monday May 27, 2024

UN Security Council allows Afghan FM to travel to Pakistan

Muttaqi had earlier visited Islamabad in November 2021 during the Imran Khan government

By Mariana Baabar
May 03, 2023
Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi. The News/file
Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi. The News/file

ISLAMABAD: The UN Security Council committee has agreed to allow Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi special permission to travel to Pakistan between May 6 and May 9, to meet with his Pakistani and Chinese counterparts, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Qin Gang.

Muttaqi had earlier visited Islamabad in November 2021 during the Imran Khan government. The decision for Muttaqi’s visit was also discussed in a telephone call between him and Foreign Minister Bhutto last month when Islamabad’s decision for the return of Pakistan’s Charge d’Affaires to Afghanistan was conveyed to Kabul.

While the Foreign Office here is reluctant to comment on the visit, Tuesday saw the Afghan Foreign Office, without giving the exact date, stating: “The foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate Afghanistan Maulvi Amir Khan Mutaqqi is scheduled to visit Islamabad by the end of the current week. He will lead a comprehensive political and business delegation.” Besides holding a bilateral meeting with Foreign Ministers Bhutto, and Qin Gang, Mutaqqi will also participate in the sixth trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China.

Earlier in March 2022, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the Foreign Ministers’ meeting among China, Afghanistan and Pakistan in Tunxi, Anhui Province. Muttaqi, who is under a strict travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under the Security Council sanctions, has been allowed to travel to Pakistan after a request was forwarded by Pakistan’s UN mission assuring the 15-member security council that it would cover the costs of Muttaqi’s visit. This will be Muttaqi’s first visit to Islamabad after the formation of Shehbaz Sharif government.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, according to its Foreign Office, says during the visit Muttaqi wants to, “hold comprehensive bilateral talks on political, Pakistan-Afghanistan economic relations, regional stability and transit”. The announcement of the visit to Pakistan by the foreign minister of the Interim Afghan Government comes on the final day of Doha meeting on Afghanistan, organised by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to which the Taliban government was not invited.