On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed Chief of Foreign Affairs will travel to Pakistan to discuss trade and other issues as the Taliban seek global recognition and the unfreezing of assets to avoid a financial crisis.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry announced that Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi will lead a delegation to Islamabad to discuss ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with a particular focus on enhanced trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts and regional connectivity.’
While Pakistan has not formally recognised the Taliban administration since the militants took power in August, it has long had ties with the group. Afghanistan’s former rulers and their Western allies had long accused Pakistan of its support to the Islamists during the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The visit coincides with the Taliban’s efforts to gain international recognition.
To avoid economic collapse, Pakistan has urged governments of other nations to allow development aid to flow into Afghanistan and to unfreeze billions of dollars in central bank assets.
Despite their generally positive relationship, the Taliban and Pakistan have had issues in the past. India had close ties with Afghanistan’s previous US-backed government, and the Taliban’s victory over it represents a significant loss of influence in Afghanistan for India.