Pakistani Army Chief criticised for meeting ‘Taliban terrorists’ Foreign Minister

Taliban’s Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Syed Asim Munir, in Islamabad on Saturday and discussed issues of mutual interest, including regional security, border management, and formalisation of bilateral security mechanisms.

But some Pakistani politicians attacked the country’s military chief for holding the meeting with the Taliban’s top diplomat.

Former member of parliament, Bushra Gohar, said the meeting of the country’s chief and Muttaqi was an insult to victims of terrorism.

Another member of Pakistan’s Parliament, Mohsin Dawar, criticised Muttaqi’s meeting with a group of Pakistani Pashtun leaders.

According to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining regular contact to strengthen bilateral ties and address issues of common concern.

“Foreign Minister Muttaqi appreciated Pakistan’s traditional support for the people of Afghanistan and acknowledged the important role that Pakistan continues to play in facilitating peace and development in Afghanistan.” The statement reads.

The statement further says that the Taliban Foreign Minister expressed his desire to work closely with Pakistan to promote regional stability and prosperity.

Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff, according to the statement, “stressed the need for enhanced cooperation between the two brotherly neighbors to effectively tackle the common challenges of terrorism and extremism. He reiterated the need for full support and commitment from the (Taliban) Afghan Interim Government in matters of mutual interest.”

Taliban’s Foreign Minister is on a four-day visit to Islamabad for talks with various Pakistani officials and a tripartite meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China. However, Muttaqi’s meetings with Pakistani officials have been criticised by a number of Pakistani politicians.