Taliban minister Muttaqi in Islamabad for talks as Pak hosts meet on Afghanistan

Amir Khan Muttaqi's visit is taking place as a follow-up to Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's visit to Kabul on October 21. This is the first visit of a Taliban leader to Pakitstan after the group seized power in Afghanistan.
Taliban's acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi (left) is received by Pakistan's commerce advisor Abdul Razak Dawood (wearing mask), upon his arrival in Islamabad on Wednesday.(AFP Photo)
Taliban's acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi (left) is received by Pakistan's commerce advisor Abdul Razak Dawood (wearing mask), upon his arrival in Islamabad on Wednesday.(AFP Photo)
Updated on Nov 11, 2021 06:10 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A delegation led by Taliban's acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi reached Islamabad on Wednesday to hold talks with the Pakistani leadership. This is the fist visit of Afghan officials to Pakistan since the Sunni Pashtun group swept to power in Kabul.

The Pakistan foreign ministry said that during the three-day visit, the focus will be on bilateral ties, with discussions to be held on enhancing trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts and regional connectivity. Muttaqi will also hold talks with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The visit is taking place as a follow-up to Qureshi's visit to Kabul on October 21.

It comes at a time when Pakistan is holding the Troika Plus meeting on Afghanistan with special representatives from China, Russia and the United States. The meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday and Muttaqi is expected to meet the special representatives of these nations.

The 20-member delegation being led by Muttaqi includes minister for finance Hidayatullah Badri, minister for industries and trade Nooruddin Aziz and senior officials from the aviation ministry.

Pakistan has been trying to convince the world to diplomatically engage with the Taliban since they seized power in Afghanistan on August 15. However, no country has officially recognised the government in Afghanistan.

At a meeting of top security officials held in India on Wednesday, discussions were held on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its regional and its global ramifications. The meeting was chaired by National Securoty Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and attended by NSAs and secretaries of security councils of seven countries - Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan besides Russia and Iran.

They later released a consensus statement, which emphasised on maintaining the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and was against interference from outside powers - a clear message to Pakistan - and called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalisation and extremism in the region. The NSAs also suggested to the Taliban that Afghanistan should have an independent and an inclusive regime.

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