Photo: Abdu Qahar Balkhi via Twitter

Pakistan special envoy holds talks with Taliban foreign minister amid TTP tensions

Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, met with the Taliban’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, during his visit to Kabul on Wednesday.

The spokesman of the Taliban’s foreign ministry, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, wrote on Twitter that Muttaqi expressed hope for the development of political and economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, emphasizing the need for joint efforts to achieve this goal.

Muttaqi said that with ensured security in Afghanistan, a good opportunity has come up to strengthen the economy of the two countries, commence major projects, and increase trade. He assured that Afghanistan does not intend harm to any country, and the Taliban are committed to working for peace and stability in the region.

According to the Taliban spokesman, Pakistan’s Special Representative congratulated the Taliban on ensuring stability and security in Afghanistan after decades of war and conflict.

Durrani pledged to make efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries as well as develop bilateral mechanisms to address political and economic issues. He stressed the mutual benefits of regional security and expressed their willingness to cooperate in the security sector.

He further said that he would work to resume the construction of the Torkham-Jalalabad road and facilitate visas for those needing medical care.

The visit of Pakistan’s Special Representative comes amidst an increase in attacks within Pakistan and escalating tensions between Islamabad and Kabul concerning the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

On Tuesday, Pakistani media, the Express Tribune, reported that Durrani would deliver a clear message to the Taliban that Pakistan’s patience is running out.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Defence Minister and Chief of Army Staff accused the Taliban of not fulfilling its anti-terror commitments under the Doha Agreement and providing safe havens for TTP fighters in Afghanistan.

Pakistan accuses the Taliban of breaking their promise to fight terrorism and claims that the group has harbored the TTP, leading to increased attacks in Pakistan after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.