China-Pak-Af trilateral: Muttaqi due in Islamabad for 4-day visit

This will be Mutaqqi’s second visit to Pakistan since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021…reports Asian Lite News

Taliban-appointed Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi is all set for a 4-day visit to Pakistan to participate in the 5th China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, according to the statement released by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.

Muttaqi will lead a high-level delegation from May 5-8, which includes the Taliban-appointed Afghan Minister for Commerce and Industry, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, and senior officials from the Afghan’s Foreign Affairs, Transport and Trade Department. “Apart from holding bilateral meetings, the Acting Afghan Foreign Minister will also participate in the 5th China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue on 6th May 2023. State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Qin Gang, will also participate in the Trilateral Foreign Minister’s Dialogue,” the statement read.

“The visit of the Acting Afghan Foreign Minister is a continuation of Pakistan’s political engagement process with Afghanistan, which, inter alia, included a visit of Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Kabul on 29 November 2022 and a visit of a high-level delegation led by the Defence Minister of Pakistan to Kabul on 22 February 2023,” the statement added.

As per the statement, during the visit, the two sides will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the political, economic, trade, connectivity, peace and security, and education domains.

This will be Mutaqqi’s second visit to Pakistan since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021, with his last visit to Islamabad taking place in November of the same year, according to Dawn.

Earlier this week, a UN Security Council committee agreed to allow Muttaqi to travel to Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China, according to diplomats.

Earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the international community is concerned about the presence of terrorists in Afghanistan, which has repercussions for the region and beyond.

After a meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan that he convened in Doha, Guterres said that the participants were worried about the stability of that country and expressed serious concerns about “the persistent presence of terrorist organisations — a risk for the country, the region, and further afield”.

Drug trafficking is another area of serious concern about Afghanistan, he said.

India was one of the 21 countries as well as the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation that participated in the meeting.

Guterres said that the meeting was not about recognising the Taliban regime and as for meeting with them, he said that this “is not the right moment to do so”.

The meeting was “about developing a common international approach” to Afghanistan and the “participants agreed on the need for not only a strategy of engagement that allows for the stabilisation of Afghanistan, but also allows for addressing important concerns”, he said.

He added, “While different countries placed different priorities on these concerns, according to their own situation, there is a general recognition that they are intertwined.”

Guterres also condemned the “grave violation of human rights” under the Taliban, in particular, the restrictions on women.

“Let me be crystal clear: We will never be silent in the face of unprecedented, systemic attacks on women and girls’ rights,” he declared.

Guterres described the situation in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan as “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today” with six million Afghans “one step away from famine-like conditions”, while 28 million “will need humanitarian assistance this year to survive”. (ANI/IANS)

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