March 20, 2023

Islamabad, Pakistan – A senior Pakistani delegation has visited Afghanistan’s capital for talks with Taliban officers, days after the closure of their busiest border crossing raised tensions between the 2 nations.

Pakistani Protection Minister Khwaja Asif was joined on Wednesday by different prime officers – together with Lieutenant Normal Nadeem Anjum, the director basic of Pakistan’s Inter-Providers Intelligence company, or ISI – of their assembly with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Afghanistan’s performing deputy prime minister for financial affairs, in Kabul.

In an announcement, Baradar’s workplace mentioned the officers mentioned financial cooperation, regional connectivity, commerce and their nations’ relations.

Baradar mentioned within the assertion that political and safety considerations mustn’t have an effect on enterprise or financial issues.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbors and will get alongside nicely,” he mentioned. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan emphasizes the event of business and financial ties with Pakistan as they’re within the curiosity of each nations.”

4 days earlier, Afghan authorities closed the Torkham border crossing, accusing Pakistan of not abiding by its commitments. Pakistan in latest weeks has tightened border controls attributable to safety considerations.

Safety forces deployed on the border exchanged fireplace on Monday, which wounded one Pakistani guard.

Sources at Pakistan’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs advised Al Jazeera on Monday that they weren’t knowledgeable by their Afghan counterparts why the border level, the busiest transit route for vacationers and commerce between the 2 neighbours, had been closed.

“There may be an understanding reached on the highest stage that border crossings is not going to be closed by both aspect,” a diplomatic supply mentioned. “We’ll additional touch upon this growth as soon as we’re approached by the Afghan interim authorities in Kabul.”

As of Wednesday, hundreds of vans remained stranded on each side of the border. Many carried perishable items.

Pakistan-Taliban talks
Pakistani delegation in Kabul [Handout: office of Afghan deputy prime minister for economic affairs]

The assembly in Kabul was additionally held as Pakistan faces a dramatic surge in violence after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), often known as the Pakistani Taliban, ended a months-long ceasefire with Pakistan’s authorities, which had been negotiated by To put in the Afghan Taliban.

The TTP is allied with the Afghan Taliban, however the two teams preserve separate constructions. Pakistani officers have beforehand alleged that armed teams are launching assaults on their nation from Afghanistan. The Taliban has denied these allegations.

Pakistan’s overseas minister, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, mentioned on Saturday that the “safety and terrorist risk emanating” from Afghanistan was an important subject within the area.

“The priority is that if we and the interim authorities do not take these teams severely they usually do not reveal the need and the capability to tackle terrorist teams, then they are going to conduct terrorist actions within the area first – we’re already witnessing an uptick in terrorist exercise in Pakistan because the fall of Kabul – nevertheless it will not be lengthy earlier than it reaches some place else,” Bhutto-Zardari mentioned on the Munich Safety Convention.

The Afghan authorities pushed again towards his assertion and mentioned Pakistan ought to focus on bilateral points face-to-face as an alternative of “complaining at worldwide conferences”.

Pakistani safety analyst Amir Rana mentioned the primary high-level assembly between the 2 sides in months was “very encouraging” regardless of the latest improve in tensions.

“It was vital to go to and see what the sentiment in Kabul is and what stage of cooperation can happen,” Rana advised Al Jazeera.

He added, nevertheless, “There isn’t any consensus in Pakistan on what their Afghan coverage ought to be.”

Saad Muhammad, a protection analyst and a former Pakistani navy attaché to Kabul, contended that the nation didn’t have a settled Afghan coverage and argued that “appeasement” wouldn’t work.

“Pakistan’s safety is our downside solely,” he advised Al Jazeera. “We have to increase the price of confrontation to some extent which makes it unaffordable for the adversary, and solely then, they are going to sit and speak.”

Muhammad criticized the delegation’s go to to Kabul and mentioned Pakistan has acted timidly.

“You possibly can ship 10 delegations, but when the adversary is aware of you’re weak, it is not going to work,” he mentioned. “We should uproot the reason for the violence.”

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