Ambassador Mansoor, Afghan foreign minister Muttaqi discuss bilateral cooperation
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan met on Tuesday Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, the first meeting since the Taliban announced its interim government.
In a tweet, the ambassador said that a discussion on strengthening bilateral cooperation, particularly facilitating humanitarian, economic and people-to-people exchanges was held during their meeting.
Last week, Ambassador Khan had met Afghan Finance Minister Hedayatullah Badri and held a discussion on economic, financial and banking issues.
Pakistan is considered as one of the two countries, along with Qatar, with the most influence over the Taliban. Since the US troops left Kabul, Pakistan came to the forefront of the evacuation efforts, offering to welcome US army personnel as well as international aid workers.
Pakistan has also provided humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan dispatching tons of food and medical supplies to the war-torn country.
While addressing a “High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan” held in Geneva on Monday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called upon the international community for sustained engagement with Afghanistan.
Qureshi emphasised the need to renew developmental partnerships, support nation-building, and meet the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.
“Today’s Afghanistan represents an important opportunity as it begins its journey towards sustainable peace and development. The recurring cycles of conflict and instability during the last four decades can finally be stopped,” he said.
Meanwhile, the United States said that it will be looking at its relationship with Pakistan in the coming week. In the first public hearing in Congress about Afghanistan since last month’s collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a “multiplicity of interests some that are in conflict with ours.”
“It is one that is involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan, it’s one that’s involved harboring members of the Taliban … It is one that’s also involved in different points cooperation with us on counterterrorism,” Blinken said.
Asked by lawmakers if it is time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said the administration would soon be doing that.
“This is one of the things we’re going to be looking at in the days, and weeks ahead – the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years but also the role we would want to see it play in the coming years and what it will take for it to do that,” he said.