Pakistan, Afghanistan Foreign Ministers held important meeting amid controversy
The Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, held a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi in Tibet, where they discussed mutual cooperation on addressing the challenges to regional security and stability.
Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani is in China for a two-day visit, from October 4th to 5th, to participate in the Trans-Himalayan Forum for International Cooperation, held independently in Tibet.
The Trans-Himalayan Forum was established in 2018 with the aim of strengthening geographical ties, environmental conservation, and cultural relations among the countries in the region. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani met with Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi during this visit.
During their meeting, Jalil Abbas Jilani emphasized the need for mutual cooperation to address the current challenges to regional security and stability through practical wisdom. The statement further mentioned that the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of both countries occurred at a time when Pakistan has set the deadline of October 31st for the voluntary return of Afghan nationals, including illegal residents, from its territory.
It has been made clear that after this deadline, these individuals will be deported. In Islamabad, Prime Minister's Special Assistant for National Security, Moeed Yusuf, chaired a meeting of the National Action Plan's Apex Committee on Sunday. High-ranking military and civil leadership attended the meeting.
The Apex Committee decided that Pakistan would establish a documented procedure for the entry and exit of Afghan nationals to and from Pakistan in the context of Afghan transit trade. Entry and exit will be allowed only with passports and visas, and strict action will be taken against illegal foreign residents, irrespective of any specific nationality.
It's worth noting that yesterday, Afghan security forces opened fire on the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, resulting in the loss of two Pakistani lives and injuries to a child. On the other hand, in Islamabad, during the weekly briefing on Sunday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zahra Baloch had said that Pakistan is not against Afghan transit trade but is against its misuse.
She clarified that there had been no change in Pakistan's policy regarding Afghan migrants. Pakistan is hosting millions of Afghan migrants and is providing them with hospitality for decades. She reiterated that Pakistan's actions are against illegal migrants, not against any specific citizenship.