Khar visits Kabul to hold ‘political dialogue’ with Afghan Taliban

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will lead a delegation to Kabul for a day-long visit on November 29 (Tuesday) to hold political dialogue with Afghan Taliban-led interim government.

Bilateral relations, including cooperation in the areas of education, trade and investment, regional connectivity, people-to-people contacts and matters related to regional security will be discussed, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.

The state minister will also reaffirm Pakistan’s continued commitment and support for all efforts aimed at strengthening peace and enhancing prosperity in Afghanistan, it added.

“As a friend and neighbour of Afghanistan, Pakistan will reaffirm its abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, in particular through its efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to create real opportunities for economic prosperity of Afghan men, women and children,” read the communiqué.

Earlier this month, Pakistan, in an unusual move, had given a damning assessment of the Afghan Taliban regime’s 16 months in power, saying the interim government has done little to form inclusive government, protect the rights of women and eradicate terrorist groups.

The lack of progress, Pakistan notes, means that the critical support needed by Afghanistan to deal with the humanitarian and economic crises and other challenges has faltered.

The assessment was shared by Pakistan’s special envoy on Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq during a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbours and others held in Moscow on November 16.

The 4th meeting of the Moscow Forma was held in the Russian capital with participation from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, Turkmenistan, India, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan at the level of Special Representatives/Envoys on Afghanistan.

Ambassador Sadiq in his address took an unusually harsh stance against the Afghan Taliban government, highlighting Pakistan’s frustration over the lack of progress on certain issues.

“Pakistan is a firm adherent to the primacy of a regional approach to the situation in Afghanistan. We believe that the Moscow Format advances this goal by bringing together the regional countries in a process of meaningful dialogue and engagement on Afghanistan,” he said.

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