ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday discussed trade, regional connectivity and counterterrorism with his counterparts from Kabul and Beijing while hosting a tripartite dialogue on Afghanistan, said a brief statement issued by the foreign office in Islamabad.
The event took place just a few days after the United Nations held a meeting in Doha in which various countries, including Pakistan, participated to find ways to pressure the Taliban to provide more rights to women.
The interim Afghan foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, came to Islamabad to attend the tripartite meeting at a time when Pakistan is witnessing growing number of militant attacks along its 2,600-kilometer-long frontier with Afghanistan.
China, the third participant of the dialogue, also has interests in Afghanistan and the overall neighborhood. Beijing has invested about $60 billion in the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which is part of a larger scheme to enhance regional connectivity.
“[Pakistan] hosted 5th China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral [Foreign Ministers’] Dialogue at [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] today,” said a foreign office Twitter post. “Held Productive discussions on political engagement, counter terrorism, trade & connectivity. [Pakistan] looks forward to advancing our common agenda for regional cooperation under trilateral framework.”
Earlier, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang held a strategic dialogue with Bhutto-Zardari wherein the two officials discussed the situation in Afghanistan.
While the Pakistani minister emphasized the significance of Afghanistan’s stability for the overall betterment of the region, his Chinese counterpart hoped Kabul’s interim administration would show sensitivity toward the security of its neighbors.
They also reiterated the need for a more inclusive government in Kabul.