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‘High-level’ Afghan delegation to visit Pakistan tomorrow

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  • Afghan FM Muttaqi to lead delegation from May 5-8.
  • It comes after Pakistani delegation visited Kabul last month.
  • Muttaqi will partake in foreign ministers’ dialogue on May 6.

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi will lead a high-level delegation to Pakistan tomorrow (Friday), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

The delegation will remain in Pakistan from May 5 to 8, the Foreign Office said in a statement, with the visit coming almost a month after a high-level delegation from Islamabad visited Kabul.

The Kabul delegation will include Acting Afghan Minister for Commerce and Industry Haji Nooruddin Azizi, and senior officials from the Afghan Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Transport, and Trade.

Apart from holding bilateral meetings, the acting Afghan foreign minister will also participate in the 5th China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue on May 6.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang will also participate in the Trilateral Foreign Minister’s Dialogue.

“The visit of the acting Afghan foreign minister is a continuation of Pakistan’s political engagement process with Afghanistan, which, inter alia, included visit of Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Kabul on 29 November 2022 and visit of a high-level delegation led by the Defence Minister of Pakistan to Kabul on 22 February 2023,” the FO said.

During the visit, the two sides will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the political, economic, trade, connectivity, peace and security, and education domains.

The Foreign Office said Pakistan is desirous of a peaceful, prosperous, stable and connected Afghanistan and reiterates its commitment to pursue continuous and practical engagement with the interim Afghan government.

The development comes after a United Nations Security Council committee agreed to allow the Taliban administration’s foreign minister’s meeting with foreign ministers and diplomats of Pakistan and China.

The Afghan minister has long remained under a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze following sanctions by the UN Security Council.

According to a letter to the 15-member Security Council Taliban sanctions committee, Pakistan’s UN mission requested an exemption for Muttaqi was to travel between May 6-9 “for a meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China.”

Afghanistan sits as a key geographical trade and transit route between South and Central Asia and has billions of dollars of untapped mineral resources. The Taliban seized power in August 2021 as US-led forces withdrew after 20 years of war.

The Security Council committee allowed Muttaqi to travel to Uzbekistan last month for a meeting of the foreign ministers of neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to discuss urgent peace, security, and stability matters.

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Business

Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Business

Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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9th Muharram: Processions Happen Throughout the Nation Today Under Strict Security

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Nineth Muharram: Today, the nation observes the ninth day of Muharram with the appropriate seriousness and respect, honouring the ultimate sacrifice made by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his followers.

In addition to Tazia and Alam processions being held in certain cities, Majalis will take place in all major and minor cities.

A thorough traffic and security strategy for the ninth day of Ramadan has been finalised by the Islamabad police.

Starting from the Imambargah at G/6-2, the main 9 Muharram al haram procession will travel a predetermined itinerary before ending back at its starting position.

The traffic measures are in place to guarantee the parade proceeds smoothly. General traffic will not be allowed on the route that runs from Fazal Haq Road, Polyclinic, to Kulsoom Plaza.
Today, amid strict security, there are processions across the nation.

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