Pakistan stresses swift Afghan action to address border security

Asks for collaboration on counter-terrorism

ISLAMABAD  -  At the invitation of the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS), Kabul, a delegation of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) visited Afghanistan from 21-23 August 2023. The delegation was led by Director General ISSI Am­bassador Sohail Mahmood and in­cluded the Director of the Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East and Africa (CAMEA), Ms. Amina Khan.

During the visit, the ISSI del­egation held several interactions, which included a call on the Act­ing Foreign Minister of the Interim Afghan Government (IAG) Amir Khan Muttaqi; and Bilateral Dia­logue with the Centre for Strate­gic Studies, headed by Waliullah Shaheen, Director General CSS. Ambassador Sohail Mahmood also delivered a lecture on Paki­stan-Afghanistan relations at the Institute of Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afghanistan. Dur­ing the ISSI delegation’s meeting with Acting Foreign Minister Mut­taqi Obaid Ur Rehman Nizamani, the Chargé d’ Affaires of Pakistan in Kabul, was also present. The meeting focused on Pakistan-Af­ghanistan relations, where Acting Foreign Minister Muttaqi under­lined the closeness of ties between the two countries, reinforced by numerous commonalities of faith, culture and geography. 

Muttaqi apprised the delega­tion regarding progress achieved under the Interim Government regarding ensuring overall secu­rity in the country, improving the economy, controlling poppy culti­vation, and addressing corruption. He also highlighted notable prog­ress registered in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and talked about the need to fur­ther focus on regional trade and connectivity. He stressed strength­ening of bilateral dialogue particu­larly on issues of mutual concern.

During the meeting, ambassa­dor Sohail Mahmood reviewed the developments during the two years of Afghan Interim govern­ment. He also talked about the im­portance of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and the recent positives in terms of enhanced bilateral trade. Sohail underscored Paki­stan’s role in efforts for stabiliza­tion of Afghanistan and stressed the urgency of addressing mat­ters relating to border security and counter-terrorism through close consultations and collabo­ration. He further stressed that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s in­terest and would be best suited to advance the common interests of trade and connectivity through CPEC and other mega infrastruc­ture projects. During the Bilateral Dialogue between the ISSI delega­tion and CSS, DG ISSI ambassador Sohail Mahmood, while shedding light on relationship, said it was time for Pakistan and Afghanistan to place the bilateral relationship on a sounder basis that addressed security concerns, strengthened efforts for a robust economic partnership, and promoted the agenda of regional connectivity and economic integration.

Waliullah Shaheen, Director General, CSS, stressed the impor­tance of bilateral relations and said a new approach should be evolved in order to deal with sen­sitive matters and develop bilater­al cooperation into a complimen­tary relationship. Think-tanks like CSS and ISSI could help promote such an approach, he observed. Sohail also delivered a lecture at the Foreign Ministry’s Institute of Diplomacy. He also underlined the international country’s ex­pectations regarding inclusivity, womens’ rights and girls’ educa­tion, and effective counter-terror­ism action. Sohail underscored that both countries suffer from trans-national terrorism, which warranted mutual cooperation and a collective response.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt