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Pakistani commerce delegation visits Kabul in signal of easing tensions over cross-border assaults

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A delegation from Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce arrived in Kabul on Monday to fulfill its Afghan counterparts to debate how you can enhance commerce relations, after tensions have risen over cross-border militant assaults.

Last week, Pakistan’s navy carried out uncommon airstrikes in opposition to suspected hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban inside Afghanistan, killing eight individuals and prompting Afghan forces to return fireplace.

The March 18 change got here after seven Pakistani troopers have been killed in a suicide bombing and coordinated assault in northwest Pakistan. It had additional strained ties between the perimeters, and officers consider that Monday’s go to by a senior bureaucrat, Mohammad Khurram, will play a job in easing tensions.

In Kabul, Abdul Salam Jawad, spokesman for the Afghan Commerce Ministry, mentioned that the Pakistani delegation had arrived on the invitation of Afghan Minister of Industry and Commerce Nooruddin Azizi.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, mentioned the go to was geared toward selling commerce and people-to-people ties with Afghanistan.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been strained lately primarily due to Kabul’s backing for the Pakistani Taliban, who’re referred to as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, and are a separate group from the Afghan Taliban. However, TTP is an ally of the Afghan Taliban and it has been emboldened because the Afghan Taliban seized energy in Afghanistan in 2021 because the U.S. and NATO troops have been within the closing levels of their pullout.

The Afghan Taliban say they don’t permit TTP to make use of Afghan soil to launch assaults in Pakistan.

Tensions between the neighbors primarily have an effect on commerce due to the closure of the important thing border crossings of Torkham and Chaman. Trucks carrying items from Pakistan to Central Asian international locations are additionally blocked from transiting by Afghanistan.

Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, a director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, mentioned the bilateral commerce between Pakistan and Afghanistan at the moment stands at $1.4 billion. He mentioned the commerce might attain $5 billion if Pakistan and Afghanistan cooperate.

He mentioned Pakistan requires Afghan truck drivers to get a visa earlier than coming into Pakistan. A leisure of the rule expires March 31.

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