Photo: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Pakistan and the Taliban agree ‘enhanced counter-terrorism’ cooperation

UNSC-sanctioned Amir Khan Muttqai was granted an exemption by the council for travel to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and his Taliban counterpart, Amir Khan Muttaqi, have reached an agreement to strengthen “counter-terrorism” cooperation between the two sides.

The two men met in Islamabad on Sunday after trilateral talks with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, where China and Pakistan agreed to include Afghanistan in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is a Chinese development strategy aimed at enhancing economic connectivity and infrastructure development across Asia and Europe.

In a statement on Sunday, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “[Both] sides held a canid and in-depth exchange [on] peace and security, as well as trade and connectivity.

“On peace and security, the Foreign Ministers emphasized the need for enhanced coordination to counter-terrorism and deepening bilateral coordination.”

The two sides also agreed on bilateral and transit trade by stressing “the importance of removing impediments to trade in order to advance the goal of enhanced regional economic integration and connectivity.”

Amir Khan Muttaqi also met with the  Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Syed Asim Munir, which criticised by some Pakistani politicians as “an insult to victims of terrorism”.

The Taliban Foreign Minister is under UN Security Council sanctions that bar him from international travel. He was granted an exemption to visit Pakistan.