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Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi visits Pakistan

Afghanistan's Taliban-appointed foreign affairs chief begins a visit to Pakistan on Wednesday to discuss trade and other ties as the Taliban seek global recognition and the unfreezing of assets to prevent an economic crisis.

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Amir Khan Muttaqi, foreign minister of the Taliban-led government, was extended an invitation to Pakistan by the nation’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during his visit to Kabul. This is the first visit of a minister from the interim government in Afghanistan after the terrorist group took over the reins of the government in Afghanistan. The news agency also said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are in constant touch to finalize details of the visit.

Muttaqi is a senior Taliban leader who was part of the Doha talks last year where the withdrawal of American troops was discussed. People familiar with the developments told the news agency that his visit is part of the ongoing engagements by Pakistan with the Kabul administration.

Read more: New US special envoy for Afghanistan to meet Taliban in Pakistan

What’s the objective behind this visit?

Pakistan, however, clarified that the visit should not be seen as an act of formal recognition of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.

The news of Muttaqi’s visit comes a week after Pakistan allowed diplomats appointed by the Taliban-led government to take charge of the Afghan embassy and consulates in Pakistan. Though the Imran Khan-led government does not recognize the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, it continues to maintain diplomatic contact with the nation. Sardar Muhammad Shokaib was appointed as the charge d’affaires in Islamabad by the interim Taliban government.

Read more: Major win as Pakistan set to host US & Taliban for talks on Afghan crisis

Pakistan in the international forum is vocal regarding constant communication between the Taliban and the international community. On several occasions and global forums, the nation requested the world leaders to maintain relations with Afghanistan. It also recently said that it shares similar concerns like the international community which feels that the Taliban will not allow an inclusive government, protect women’s rights and not allow the Afghan soil to become a haven for terrorism in the region.

Pakistan has been trying to convince the world to diplomatically engage with the Taliban after they seized control of Kabul on August 15. However, the international community is still skeptical about the hardline Islamists, especially on issues like terrorism emanating from the war-torn country and their promises to respect human rights.

Reuters with additional input by GVS