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ISLAMABAD: The acting foreign minister of the Taliban interim government Amir Khan Muttaqi will arrive Wednesday (Nov 10) on a two-day visit to hold discussions on bilateral trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, and other issues of mutual interest.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan will lead a high-level ministerial delegation to Pakistan from November 10-12, 2021. This would be the first visit of a member of the Taliban interim cabinet, since they took over Kabul on August 15, 2021.

The Foreign Office said that the visit is taking place as a follow-up to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's visit to Kabul on October 21, 2021. Qureshi was accompanied by senior cabinet members as well as Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed in his visit to Kabul.

"The exchanges will centre on Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a particular focus inter alia on enhanced trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts, and regional connectivity," according to the statement. In view of the prevalent situation, it added that Pakistan has been urging the international community to urgently provide humanitarian assistance and economic support to alleviate the sufferings of the Afghan people.

"For its part, Pakistan is extending humanitarian and economic assistance to the brotherly people of Afghanistan. Pakistan remains committed to supporting a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous and connected Afghanistan," it added. Although no country including Pakistan has so far recognised the Taliban's interim government, diplomatic sources said that the high-level exchanges are aimed at facilitating and supporting the government in Kabul to deal with the challenges both, humanitarian and economic.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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