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DG ISI arrives in Kabul

  • Visit comes ahead of the planned formation of the Afghan Taliban government
04 Sep, 2021

Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed arrived in Kabul on Saturday, sources in both capitals said, reported Reuters.

The visit comes as the Taliban prepare to form a new government in Kabul after their lightning takeover last month.

“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government,” a Taliban official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will lead a new Afghan government and will be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in senior positions in the government, three sources said.

A Taliban source also told Reuters the announcement of a new government would be pushed back to next week.

Taliban have assured TTP will not be allowed to use Afghan soil against Pakistan: Sheikh Rashid

Hameed is visiting Afghanistan with a delegation of senior Pakistani officials.

On Friday, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghanistan appreciates the longstanding contributions of Pakistan towards the Afghan people.

Reports suggest that DG ISI is likely to discuss matters related to the pending requests from countries and international organisations regarding the repatriation of their citizens and employees through Pakistan.

It is likely that the issue of border management will come under discussion in his meeting with Taliban leaders.

Pakistani envoy, Afghan Taliban discuss way forward

On Friday, Pakistan and Afghan Taliban representatives in Doha discussed issues related to facilitating people’s movement at Torkham and Spin Boldak borders.

In a statement, Pakistan's Embassy in Qatar said that a seven-member delegation of the Taliban, led by their political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, met Pakistan’s Ambassador to Qatar Syed Ahsan Raza Shah at the Pakistani embassy in Doha.

"Matters related to latest developments and bilateral interests discussed. It was agreed to continue regular mutual contacts," the embassy tweeted.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that during the meeting, the two sides discussed the current Afghan situation, bilateral relations based on mutual interest and respect.

"Reconstruction of Afghanistan and issues related to facilitating people’s movement at Torkhan and Spinboldak," the spokesperson said.

There are some signs of normalcy returning to the Afghan capital.

Qatar's ambassador to Afghanistan said a technical team was able to reopen Kabul airport to receive aid, according to Al Jazeera, which also cited its correspondent as saying domestic flights had restarted.

Kabul airport reopens to receive aid, domestic flights restart

The airport has been closed since the United States completed operations on August 30 to evacuate diplomats, foreigners and Afghans deemed at risk from the Taliban.

The Taliban's main spokesman also said one of the main foreign exchange dealers in Kabul had reopened.

Afghanistan's economy has been thrown into disarray recently. Many banks are closed and cash is in short supply.

The United Nations has said it will convene an international aid conference in Geneva on Sept. 13 to help avert what UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called a "looming humanitarian catastrophe".

Without the aid that has sustained the country for years, the Taliban will find it hard to avert economic collapse.

Western powers say they are prepared to engage with the Taliban and send humanitarian aid, but that formal recognition of the government and broader economic assistance will depend on action - not just promises - to safeguard human rights.


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