Pakistan's Foreign Minister to Visit Afghanistan Amid Rising Security Concerns

Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar plans to visit Afghanistan to address Pakistan's concerns about terrorist groups, focusing on economic diplomacy to address Pakistan's financial challenges.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister to Visit Afghanistan Amid Rising Security Concerns
Photo Source: Pexels, by Lara Jameson, June 24th, 2021

09-07-2024

Hasom Jang

Pakistan Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar announced on Tuesday that he will soon visit Afghanistan, as Pakistan grapples with a surge in cross-border terrorism. The planned diplomatic mission comes at a critical juncture in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, with Islamabad increasingly vocal about its security concerns. During a meeting of the Senate's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Dar stated, "I will leave for Afghanistan in a couple of days. Afghanistan is our brotherly country." The visit aims to address Pakistan's growing concerns about terrorist groups operating from Afghan soil, particularly the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Dar emphasised that security remains the major issue between the two nations. He noted, "unfortunately, the clues of these incidents signal the involvement of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the outfit exists in Afghanistan," referring to recent attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan. The announcement comes against a backdrop of strained relations between Islamabad and Kabul. Since the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan in 2021, Pakistan has witnessed a significant uptick in militant activities in its border provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Despite describing Afghanistan as a "brotherly country," Dar's comments reflect the complex nature of the relationship. He remarked, "you can't change your neighbours," underscoring the necessity of engagement despite ongoing tensions. The visit also occurs in the context of wider regional dynamics. Pakistan has recently warned of potential cross-border strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan, marking a shift in its approach to dealing with the threat. Moreover, Dar touched upon other issues affecting bilateral relations, including the resurgence of polio in Pakistan, which he linked to cross-border movements.While security dominates the agenda, economic factors also play a role in shaping Pakistan's foreign policy. Dar stressed the importance of economic diplomacy in addressing Pakistan's financial challenges, noting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's stance against seeking further debt from friendly nations.As Pakistan navigates these complex diplomatic waters, Dar's upcoming visit to Kabul represents a crucial effort to address security concerns through direct dialogue. The outcome of this mission could have significant implications for regional stability and Pakistan-Afghanistan relations moving forward.

 

 

 

Sources and further readings:

 

FM Dar to “soon” visit Afghanistan as Pakistan faces cross-border terrorism. https://www.geo.tv/latest/553409-fm-dar-to-soon-visit-afghanistan-as-pakistan-faces-cross-border-terrorism [Accessed July 9th, 2024].

 

Khan, T. PM Shehbaz urges collective responsibility, int’l recognition of Afghan refugee ‘burden’. DAWN.COM.https://www.dawn.com/news/1844807 [Accessed July 9th, 2024].