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Pakistan’s Afghan ‘troubleshooter’ in Tehran for talks


Feb 2, 2007
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ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan’s relationship with the Afghan interim government is on the edge, the country’s focal person on Afghanistan undertook a visit to neighbouring Iran on Wednesday in order to discuss the evolving situation.

Ambassador Asif Durrani, Pakistan’s special envoy on Afghanistan, held talks with senior Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran.

There was no statement issued by the Foreign Office but the Iranian side in an official handout said Durrani offered his evaluation of the political and security conditions and developments in Afghanistan.

The special representative stressed that Pakistan was determined to cooperate with Iran to help ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to the official news agency of Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, said Iran and Pakistan play influential roles in the developments across the region and in Afghanistan.

He also expressed hope that continued consultations between Tehran and Islamabad would help establish peace and calm in the region.

The Iranian foreign minister also stressed the need to support the regional initiatives involving the neighbouring states for the settlement of challenges in Afghanistan.

The visit of Ambassador Durrani came at a time when Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban were at loggerheads over the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The lack of action by the Afghan Taliban against the banned group continues to overshadow the relationship between the two neighbours.

A key border crossing has remained shut since September 6 following an exchange of fire between Pakistan and the Afghan border security forces.

Both sides accused the other for initiating the fire that subsequently led to the closure of Torkham border for all kinds of movement.

The move is seen as an effort by Pakistan to put pressure on the Afghan Taliban to crack down against the TTP, which last week tried to infiltrate into Chitral with a large number of terrorists attacking the two checkposts.

As Pakistan’s relationship with the interim Afghan government remains tense, China on Wednesday appointed a full-time ambassador to Kabul. The new Chinese ambassador presented his credentials to the interim Afghan prime minister in Kabul.

China has become the first country to appoint a full-time ambassador in Kabul since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in August 2021. This is seen as a major signal on part of China to formally recognise the Taliban regime, though there is no clarity from either side at this stage.

The move came just days after Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, in an interview, said the Afghan Taliban government had no legitimacy.

Since their return to power, none of the countries have yet recognised the Taliban government though many countries including the EU maintain their diplomatic presence in Kabul.

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