ISLAMABAD: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has assured Islamabad it would enhance cooperation with Pakistan on Afghanistan, the Pakistani military said on Wednesday.
NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo arrived in Pakistan this week to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August.
He met Pakistani Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
“The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan situation including successful evacuation operations and efforts for regional stability. He also assured to enhance cooperation with Pakistan on Afghanistan and regular engagement by the NATO countries for all bilateral issues,” the Pakistani military’s media wing said in a statement.
Along with a NATO delegation, Pontecorvo also met Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood to discuss the latest developments in the region.
“The foreign secretary underlined that the international community must remain positively engaged with Afghanistan to avoid humanitarian crisis and preclude mass exodus from Afghanistan,” the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement.
Pakistan on Wednesday urged the international community to continue its economic engagements with Afghanistan and unfreeze the Afghan financial assets parked in other countries.
Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan, Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq, highlighted the issue while addressing a conference in Moscow that brought together officials from various regional countries, including representatives of Afghanistan’s new Taliban government.
The international community froze nearly $10 billion of Afghanistan’s financial assets in other countries after the fall of Kabul on August 15 since the money was viewed as a key instrument to mount political pressure on the Taliban.
The Taliban deputy prime minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, told the Moscow forum that “isolating Afghanistan is in no one’s interest.”
He added the Taliban had moved as quickly as possible on opening up their government and guaranteeing rights to women, and did not represent a threat to any other country.