Pakistan has appointed Mansoor Ahmed Khan, a career diplomat, as the new ambassador to Kabul as crucial intra-Afghan talks are set to begin this week in Doha.
Mansoor had been serving as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Office in Vienna, Austria, before being appointed as envoy to Kabul.
Pakistan FM: new ambassador to Kabul will help improve bilateral ties
According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the ambassador-designate on Monday called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here before taking up his new job.
Qureshi congratulated Mansoor, saying he was being given an important diplomatic assignment because of his “excellent record”. Qureshi, the statement read, hoped that the appointment of an experienced and professional diplomat like Mansoor would help improve bilateral ties.
The foreign minister said that Pakistan was facing multiple challenges both on the internal and external fronts. The foreign minister said, “Pakistan is facing several challenges on internal and external fronts.”
The statement said that Qureshi gave the ambassador-designate a briefing on how to pursue Pakistan’s interests at a time when Afghan peace process had entered a crucial phase.
Afghan government and Taliban set to meet at Doha
After months of delay, the Afghan government and the Taliban are all set to meet in Doha this week as part of efforts to evolve a consensus about the future political dispensation in Afghanistan.
The Afghan negotiating team; however, reports said couldn’t leave for Doha on Monday due to some logistic issues. It is reported that the Taliban are also sorting out details such as which flag would be use and who would be allowed to speak in the first phase of intra-Afghan talks.
The intra-Afghan dialogue is happening after the completion of prisoners’ exchange between the Afghan government and the Taliban. There was delay of many months as the Afghan government was reluctant to free what they called hardcore Taliban prisoners allegedly involved in terrorist attacks. But Kabul finally set them free after Grand Jirga allowed their release in the interest of peace.
Pakistan played a crucial role in first brokering the February 29 deal between the Afghan Taliban and the US. It was also instrumental in creating an enabling environment for the intra-Afghan talks.
GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources