Pakistani delegation visits Afghanistan to discuss security-related matters

Pakistani delegation visits Afghanistan to discuss security-related matters

Kabul (Web Desk): A high-level Pakistani delegation, led by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, visited Kabul on Wednesday to discuss security-related matters with the officials of interim Afghan government, the Foreign Office (FO) stated.

"A high-ranking delegation led by the Minister for Defence is in Kabul today to meet with officials of the Afghan Interim Government to discuss security-related matters including counter-terrorism measures," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) spokesperson tweeted.

The high-ranking delegation includes Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq, Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed Khan, and Kabul mission head Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani.

According to sources, the visit comes after the closure of the Torkham border crossing by the Afghan authorities following a row over the entry of citizens into Pakistan without documents. A Pakistani soldier had also sustained injuries when the Afghan Taliban opened fire at a border.

The sources, quoting a senior Pakistan government official posted at the Torkham border said that the Afghan border officials made it an issue, saying Pakistani authorities should allow the patients and their attendants without visas or legal travel documents to enter Pakistan for treatment in Peshawar or elsewhere.

The decision to strengthen security measures by mandating Afghan citizens to carry travel documents was made following the Peshawar police lines suicide attack.

In a separate statement about the meeting, the office of Afghan deputy PM stated that the two parties discussed economic cooperation, regional connectivity, trade, and bilateral relations during the meeting.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbours and should get along well. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan emphasises the development of commercial and economic ties with Pakistan as they are in the interest of both countries," Baradar was quoted as saying.

The Taliban leader said that political and security concerns should not affect business or economic matters.

He also asked the officials to release Afghans being detained in detention facilities in Pakistan.

The Afghan deputy PM further said that passengers at Torkham and Spin Boldak should be well-facilitated, with special consideration being given to emergency patients.

Baradar’s office stated that the Pakistani delegation assured Afghanistan of the aforementioned issues and added that the concerned ministries and appointed committees would soon work.

The visit comes against the backdrop of a recent surge in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sponsored terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

The sources claimed Islamabad will persuade the Afghan interim government to live up to its commitment of not allowing Afghan soil to be used by the TTP and its affiliates.

This is the first meeting between the senior leadership of the two countries following the visit of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar in November 2022.