Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan conducted a media briefing earlier today highlighting the country’s diplomatic efforts in 2022.
During the “Year End Briefing,” the Spokesperson thoroughly explained Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts and achievements in 2022, aimed at enhancing Pakistan’s international profile and revitalizing its external relations in protecting Pakistan’s interests.
Engaging with Afghanistan was one of the core topics of the briefing as Pakistan cautiously seeks its national interests in this country, and continues to represent Afghanistan in the international stages.
“Pakistan has consistently expressed its desire to see a peaceful, prosperous, stable, and connected Afghanistan. We wish that Afghanistan emerges as a trade and energy-connectivity conduit to our region,” Mrs. Baloch said.
Since the takeover of the Taliban in August 2021, Pakistan has pursued continuous and practical engagements with the interim government of Afghanistan. This included a number of high-level visits to Kabul and meetings with the Taliban authorities.
- National Security Adviser visited Kabul in January
- FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met Acting Afghan FM, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, on the sidelines of the SCO-CFM held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in July
- Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, visited Kabul on November 29, and meet with high-ranking Afghan authorities
- Pakistan participated in the Moscow Format talks held in Moscow in November
- Pakistan participated in Troika Plus Conference in China in March
Besides all the formal meetings, Pakistan had two cross-border incidents with Afghan security forces in December, causing the death and injuries of many people. Additionally, the Head of Pakistan’s Diplomatic Mission in Kabul was attacked on 2nd December. Following the terror attack and the cross-border arm clashes, the relations between the two neighboring countries have soured in the recent past, each side having its own justifications for the cause.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani government expressed its dismay over the recent decisions taken by the Afghan interim government barring women from attending universities and participating in public life. In a separate statement, Pakistan called on the Afghan de facto authorities to reverse the decision and ensure equal access to education for all segments of society.
Besides all the odds, Afghanistan remains a focal point for Pakistan’s foreign policy considering the greater influence it has in different domains including trade, politics, socioeconomic and cultural affairs.