KABUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday met the interim prime minister of Afghanistan Mullah Hassan Akhund, and discussed issues of mutual interest.
He assured the Afghan interim prime minister that Pakistan was committed to extending humanitarian assistance to Afghan brothers.
The foreign minister said Pakistan wanted lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He mentioned in this regard several steps by the government including visa facilities for Afghan citizens, especially traders, and the establishment of new border points to facilitate movement.
Qureshi said Pakistan, in collaboration with Afghanistan’s neighbours, was committed to playing a constructive role for peace and stability in the region.
The deputy prime minister of Afghanistan’s interim government Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi welcomed the foreign minister and his delegation. Afghan Interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki was also present.
Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan, senior military leadership, and other members of the Pakistani delegation were present in the meeting.
Deputy prime minister Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi hosted a banquet in honour of Foreign Minister Qureshi and his delegation at the Arg Palace. A large number of cabinet members of the interim government joined them.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi leading a high-level delegation arrived in Kabul on Thursday to meet the leadership of the interim government of Afghanistan.
“During the one-day visit, he will hold talks with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and meet other Afghan dignitaries as well,” the Foreign Office said.
The Foreign Office said the talks between the two sides would cover the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and focus on ways and means to deepen cooperation in diverse areas.
Utilizing the opportunity, the foreign minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on issues of regional peace and stability.
“The foreign minister’s visit reflects Pakistan’s consistent policy of supporting the brotherly Afghan people, deepening bilateral trade and economic relations, and facilitating closer people-to-people contacts,” the Foreign Office said.
As a close fraternal neighbor, Pakistan has always stood by Afghanistan. Pakistan kept the border crossing points open for trade and pedestrian crossing under COVID protocols.
A facilitative visa regime for Afghan nationals and border crossing procedures for trade and cargo have been instituted.
In recent months, Pakistan has provided humanitarian aid and assistance in the form of food stuffs and medicines.