Acting Taliban FM to Visit Pak on Wednesday

The visit will be Muttaqi's maiden visit to Islamabad after assuming charge as the acting Foreign Minister following the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August.

Islamabad: Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Foreign Minister of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, will arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday at the invitation from Pakistan to be a part of the Troika Plus meeting.

The visit will be Muttaqi’s maiden visit to Islamabad after assuming charge as the acting Foreign Minister following the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August.

As per details shared by the Pakistan Foreign Office, the visit will be focused on pivotal issues related to economic crisis in Afghanistan, coupled with easing of visa provision and processing.

Muttaqi will also be taking part in the all important Troika Plus meeting on Thursday in Islamabad where “special representatives for Afghanistan from US, Russia, China and Pakistan will be meeting”, to discuss the way forward towards a stable country.

The Foreign Office further said that Ambasador Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, the State Department’s Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan, Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov and Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong will be in attendance.

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The meeting is expected to not only see through means of provision of continued humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but will also be focused on handling the crippling economic crisis of the country.

The Taliban interim government is yet to receive recognition from the international community and has been engaging with global powers before the economic crisis of the country turns from bad to worse.

The Troika Plus holds great importance as China, Pakistan, Russia and the US share major stakes in Afghanistan and have been relevant active participants of the Afghan peace talks.

Although Pakistan is yet to recognised the Taliban government, it has allowed the new Taliban officials to take control of the Afghan embassy in Islamabad along with consulates in Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, during his last visit to Kabul on October 21, had discussed with senior Afghan Taliban government officials, confirming that both sides had agreed to enhance and revive the existing bilateral mechanisms and institutional frameworks such as the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), which would be used as a platform to resolve differences and hurdles in implementation of decision on both sides.

Major decisions have already been taken by the Pakistan government since Qureshi’s visit which include removal of procedural restrictions on the movement of people between two countries, earlier imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic; issuance of five-year multiple-entry visas to Afghan businessmen; permission to Afghan trucks to travel up to Karachi; and waiving off duties on exports of Afghan fruits and vegetables in Pakistan.

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