A file picture of the foreign minister of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Amir Khan Muttaqi. EFE/EPA/FILE/TERJE PEDERSEN NORWAY OUT[NORWAY OUT]

Pakistan army urges Taliban to cooperate against terrorism

Islamabad, May 7 (EFE).- Pakistan Army chief General Asim Munir, during a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, underlined the need to improve cooperation between the two countries to address the threat of terrorism, according to official sources Sunday.

During the meeting late Saturday, Munir stressed “the need for enhanced cooperation between the two brotherly neighbors to effectively tackle the common challenges of terrorism and extremism,” the media wing of the Pakistan army ISPR said in a statement.

The two sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including aspects related to regional security, border management and the formalization of bilateral security mechanisms to improve the current security environment, the statement added.

Muttaqi, on his part, “acknowledged the important role that Pakistan continues to play in facilitating peace and development in Afghanistan” as well as the fundamentalists’ commitment towards promoting bilateral peace and stability.

Talks between the Taliban’s diplomatic head and Pakistan’s military chief came on the sidelines of a tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China.

The three countries have held several such meetings since 2017, but the most recent one was the first between the three diplomatic heads following the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021.

The security situation on the 2,500-kilometer border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has deteriorated with the arrival of the fundamentalists, even though in the past they have had occasional clashes in the area.

Tensions escalated in February when Pakistani authorities closed Torkham Pass, the main border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, for four days after an exchange of fire left a Pakistani soldier wounded.

Pakistan has been also experiencing an increase in terrorism after the return of the Taliban in Kabul, which resulted in a resurgence in the activities of the Pakistani Taliban, ideological brothers of the Afghan Taliban. EFE