Pakistan has committed Rs5 billion in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, besides announcing several trade and travel concessions with the war-torn country.
The announcement came at a press conference by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi after his first trip to Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The foreign minister spoke of a “positive change” in Kabul where he met the new Afghan leaders. He said these leaders seemed open to resolving certain issues in the relationship between the two countries.
Qureshi also met caretaker Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund. They discussed matters related to security, trade, travel, connectivity projects, humanitarian assistance and international recognition for the Taliban regime.
While some issues were decided during the talks, others will be settled during a visit by a Taliban delegation to Islamabad over the next few days, Qureshi has said.
He added that Islamabad wanted to assure the Taliban regime that Pakistan stood by them in difficult times.
Pakistan has abolished the requirements of a gate pass and a Covid-19 PCR test for Afghans travelling to Pakistan by land. A visa-on-arrival facility was also announced for ailing Afghans seeking treatment.
Besides this, Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul has been empowered to give five-year multiple entry visas to Afghan businessmen. The service fee for visa processing has been abolished till December.
Timings for pedestrian crossing at the border have been increased from eight to 12 hours every day.
Qureshi said Pakistan had raised its concerns about presence of fighters of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TLP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on Afghan soil.
He said the Taliban assured him that the TTP and the BLA would not be allowed to use Afghan soil for activities against Pakistan.