ISLAMABAD - China’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan, Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong, called on Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood on Monday to discuss the political and security situation in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance by Pakistan and China to Afghanistan, and other matters of mutual interest.

During the meeting, the Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and connected Afghanistan.

He highlighted the provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, including Pakistan’s relief efforts in the wake of devastating earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on 22 June 2022.

The Foreign Secretary also stressed the importance of de-freezing of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and facilitation of banking operations to ease the economic hardships of the Afghan people and help build a sustainable economy.

The Foreign Secretary further underlined the importance for the Afghan side to address the international community’s expectations regarding inclusivity; respect for the rights of all Afghans, including girls’ education; and effective counter-terrorism measures.

In the context of regional connectivity, both sides exchanged views on extension of CPEC to Afghanistan to promote economic development and prosperity.

Foreign Secretary discusses Afghan political, security situation with Chinese envoy

The Foreign Secretary underscored that the international community’s focus should not be diverted from the dire situation in Afghanistan owing to events taking place elsewhere.

While emphasising continued constructive engagement and practical cooperation with the interim Afghan authorities, the Foreign Secretary highlighted the central role of platforms such as Troika Plus and Six Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan in advancing shared goals.

Special Envoy of China Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong appreciated the important and constructive role played by Pakistan in the context of Afghanistan. Both sides agreed that only a peaceful, stable and connected Afghanistan could act as a fulcrum for enhanced regional trade and connectivity.

Earlier, the Chinese Special Envoy held talks with his counterpart, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ambassador (Retd) Mohammad Sadiq. Both sides took stock of the evolving situation and discussed humanitarian assistance, infrastructure development, as well as trade and transit initiatives.