Pakistani overseas minister meets Taliban in Afghanistan

Foreign minister’s first go to for the reason that Taliban takeover comes because the neighbouring international locations try to resolve border points affecting motion and commerce.

Pakistan’s overseas minister has visited Afghanistan for the primary time for the reason that Taliban takeover in August, amid persevering with tensions about transport hyperlinks between the neighbouring international locations.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi travelled to Kabul on Thursday to debate the scenario on the Chaman border crossing, one of many important commerce transit factors between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The crossing has been closed for greater than two weeks, inflicting extreme issues for truckers and exporters.

Speaking exterior the Afghan presidential palace after the assembly, Qureshi mentioned the 2 sides held detailed talks on cross-border motion and commerce, and {that a} Taliban delegation would go to Islamabad within the coming days to finalise the decision of points.

“There were detailed talks with the Afghan Taliban leadership which were attended by the prime minister and almost all cabinet ministers,” Qureshi mentioned.

Qureshi was accompanied by Faiz Hammed, the outgoing chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who’s on his second go to to the Afghan capital for the reason that Taliban took energy.

Afghanistan’s appearing Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who stood alongside Qureshi, mentioned plenty of progress had been made in fixing the excellent points.

“We are very hopeful that all our trade issues will be resolved very soon, borders will open again,” he mentioned.

The neighbouring international locations had been unable in latest weeks to resolve points over air hyperlinks and management of freight crossing the border.

Pakistan has suffered the repercussions of 4 a long time of instability as armed teams alongside the two,670km-long (1,659-mile) Pakistan-Afghanistan border flourished.

The closure of the border attributable to safety issues has harm Afghan fruit producers near the southern metropolis of Kandahar, with pomegranates and different export produce left to rot as a result of vehicles can’t get by way of to their markets throughout the border.

Pakistan International Airlines, the one worldwide airline that had been working frequently in Kabul, additionally suspended flights final week, complaining of interference and harassment of its workers by Taliban officers.

Qureshi is the third overseas minister after these of Qatar and Uzbekistan to go to Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban took energy.

The Taliban overthrew Afghanistan’s former US-backed authorities in August and have since been making an attempt to win worldwide recognition and monetary help.

Pakistan, considered one of solely three international locations that recognised the earlier Taliban regime within the 1990s, is seen as nonetheless wielding appreciable affect over the group because it returns to energy.

Islamabad has not formally recognised the federal government in Kabul however has been actively campaigning for worldwide engagement with the Taliban so as to present the nation with humanitarian support.