KABUL: Afghan Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi has said his government will work for regional security and stability as he met Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan Asif Durrani during the latter’s visit to Kabul, which comes amid rising cross-border attacks.
Muttaqi held talks on Wednesday with Durrani, a veteran diplomat appointed to his current post in May at a time of growing concerns in Islamabad over Afghanistan’s stability under Taliban rule.
The two neighbors also have strained relations due to growing violence at the border and a sharp rise in militant attacks by the Pakistani Taliban — the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan — which Islamabad says has been emboldened by the Afghan Taliban takeover in 2021.
During the meeting, Muttaqi told Durrani that “Afghans will never harm anyone; we will allow none to use our soil against another country; & our efforts will always be directed at working for regional security and stability,” the spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.
“We hope with your appointment, the political and economic relations between the two countries will develop further, & this requires joint work,” the statement said, adding that “ensured security in Afghanistan” offers an opportunity to strengthen the economy and increase trade between the two countries.
The meeting in Kabul coincided with a string of attacks in northwest Pakistan, including the killing of two police officers in the city of Peshawar on Thursday that was claimed by the TTP.
Cross-border fire and shootouts have occurred along the Afghan-Pakistan border for years, but Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks since November, when the TTP ended a months-long ceasefire with the government.
Though the TTP openly pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban after the fall of Kabul in 2021, they were not accepted by the latter and remained a separate militant group.