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Pakistan

Afghan interim FM Amir Khan Muttaqi urges Pakistan, TTP to hold talks

  • Says challenges faced by Pakistan and Afghanistan are largely the same
Published May 8, 2023

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi called on Pakistan and the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to hold talks to resolve issues faced by the country regarding the banned outfit to deal with the menace of terrorism, Aaj News reported on Monday.

In a press conference, he stressed that “Pakistan and TTP sit together for dialogue”.

According to him, the challenges faced by Pakistan and Afghanistan were largely the same.

“Both countries have been through various situations and they will now work together,” he underlined. “Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to show flexibility and move towards a brighter future.”

He added that both countries have been facing political and economic challenges for the last two years, but possess potential for growth.

Expressing Afghanistan’s interest in maintaining economic ties with Pakistan, the minister stated “Pakistan has always been our focus. There has been interest in economic ties with the country since the beginning.”

The Afghan leader said trade between the two nations continued despite political differences and hoped to continue economic relations in the future.

Commenting on the significance of trade routes between the two countries, Muttaqi said: “Closure of trade routes eliminates several employment opportunities for ordinary citizens.”

Muttaqi suggested that bilateral progress can increase 10 times with Pakistan’s investment in Afghanistan’s energy reserves.

“Many problems including livelihood and unemployment can be controlled by working together,” he said.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, hosted Muttaqi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides held a candid and in-depth exchange on key issues of mutual concern, including peace and security, as well as trade and connectivity. The foreign ministers reaffirmed their desire to pursue continuous and practical engagement.

On peace and security, they emphasised the need for enhanced coordination to counter terrorism and deepening bilateral cooperation.

Regarding bilateral and transit trade, the two sides stressed the importance of removing impediments to trade in order to advance the goal of enhanced regional economic integration and connectivity.

The foreign minister of Pakistan also hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting Afghan delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Acting Afghan Foreign Minister and the Acting Afghan Minister for Commerce and Industry are on a visit to Pakistan.

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