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Afghanistan, Pakistan agree to spice up commerce, decrease tensions alongside border

  • The overseas ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed authorities agreed to decrease tensions alongside the border and enhance commerce talks. 
  • The settlement between the 2 international locations is designed to fight terrorism, enhance bilateral commerce talks, and enhance bilateral ties.
  • China has performed a job in restoring ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan in an try to develop its affect within the area.

Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed authorities have agreed to spice up commerce and decrease tensions alongside their border amid a surge in militant assaults on safety forces, officers mentioned Monday.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed overseas minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, struck the deal Sunday in Islamabad, in response to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. The settlement is designed to enhance bilateral commerce, fight terrorism and enhance bilateral ties.

Local media reported that Muttaqi on Monday urged Pakistani authorities to think about holding talks with the Pakistani Taliban, who’re a separate group. There was no speedy response from Islamabad. But earlier talks hosted by the Afghan Taliban in Kabul had proved futile. Since then, Pakistan has mentioned there can be no talks with the militants referred to as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.

Earlier, Bhutto Zardari and Muttaqi additionally held talks with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang, a departure from current years when such dialogue had been on maintain, in response to analysts, who say China is increasing its affect within the area. China additionally has performed a job within the resumption of Saudi-Iran diplomatic ties.

In Pakistan, Beijing is bankrolling the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC — a sprawling bundle that features such initiatives as street and energy plant development and boosting agriculture manufacturing.


The bundle is taken into account a lifeline for this impoverished Islamic nation, which is at present going through considered one of its worst financial crises amid stalled talks on a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

CPEC, often known as the One Road Project, is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a world endeavor aimed toward reconstituting the traditional Silk Road and linking China to all corners of Asia.

Qin arrived in Islamabad on Friday and met with President Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan’s highly effective military chief, Gen. Asim Munir. During these conferences, he was assured that Pakistan will enhance safety for all Chinese nationals who’re engaged on multi-billion greenback initiatives in cash-strapped Pakistan.

China has been demanding extra safety from Pakistan for its nationals residing and dealing within the Islamic nation since 2021, when a suicide bomber killed 9 Chinese and 4 Pakistanis in an assault in Pakistan’s risky northwest.

According to a Foreign Ministry assertion, Bhutto Zardari and Muttaqi on Sunday “held a candid and in-depth trade on key problems with mutual concern, together with peace and safety, in addition to commerce and connectivity.” The two sides “reaffirmed their want to pursue steady and sensible engagement,” it mentioned.

Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi

The Taliban-appointed Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, middle, walks with different officers in Islamabad, Pakistan, on May 5, 2023. Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed authorities and Pakistan agreed to spice up commerce talks and decrease tensions alongside the border. (Afghanistan Embassy in Pakistan by way of AP)


According to the Afghan embassy, Muttaqi and his delegation met with Bhutto Zardari and different officers. “During the assembly, issues of mutual curiosity, Afghan-Pak political, financial, and transit relations in addition to challenges of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan have been mentioned,” it mentioned on Twitter early Monday.

Pakistan’s army mentioned Muttaqi additionally met with Munir, the military chief, to debate “problems with mutual curiosity together with points associated to regional safety, border administration, and formalization of bilateral safety mechanisms for enchancment within the present safety setting.” Munir sought enhanced cooperation to “successfully deal with the frequent challenges of terrorism and extremism,” the assertion added.

Relations between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban have featured ups and down up to now yr.

In February, the 2 sides shut the primary Afghan-Pakistan border crossing at Torkham, stranding individuals and vans carrying meals and important gadgets. After a Pakistani delegation traveled to Kabul for talks on the disaster, the border was reopened after every week and Muttaqi’s go to to Islamabad was deliberate.

Afghanistan’s Taliban have been shunned by a lot of the worldwide neighborhood for harsh and restrictive measures they’ve imposed since seizing energy in August 2021, when U.S. and NATO troops have been within the ultimate weeks of their pullout from the nation after 20 years of battle. The Afghan Taliban has banned ladies from schooling past the sixth grade and barred girls from most jobs and public life.

Pakistan has not too long ago expressed concern over a surge of assaults by the TTP. Islamabad has demanded the Taliban in Kabul do extra to rein in TTP — which has stepped up assaults on Pakistani safety forces in current months.

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