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ISI Chief and FS visit Kabul

KABUL: Director General ISI Lt. General Faiz Hameed and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood visited Kabul on Monday (11th of November, 2019) to hold talks with Intelligence head, national security advisor and acting foreign minister in order to discuss the matter of harassment of Pakistani diplomats here. 

While Islamabad  had lodged strong protest with Kabul over harassment of its diplomats by the Afghan intelligence agencies, Kabul too had irritants to discuss. Both sides agreed to form a technical committee to look into the matter with a view to immediately resolve it.

Both sides also agreed to maintain close liaison and communication and identify steps to move forward on relevant issues. Pak-Afghan representatives also discussed other aspects of bilateral relationship. It was also decided that the next meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) would be held in Kabul next month.

It is pertinent to mention here that APAPPS framework provides a comprehensive and structured mechanism to enhance engagement between counterpart institutions of the two countries. It is comprised of five working groups on politico-diplomatic, military, intelligence, economic and trade and refugees issues.

Though no official statement has so far been issued, the visit is being considered significant against the backdrop of current events. Observers believe that improved relationship between Islamabad and Kabul was crucial for any Afghan peace deal.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

FO summons Afghan Charge d’Affairs

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) here summoned the Afghan Charge d’Affairs on Saturday to convey serious concerns over the safety and security of the diplomatic personnel of the Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul, and its sub-missions.

FO stated that the Afghan Charge d’Affairs was informed that the officers and staff of the Embassy of Pakistan were being harassed over the past two days. They were obstructed on the road and the Embassy vehicles were also hit by motorcycles while going towards the Embassy.

FO has asked  the Charge d’Affairs to convey to the Afghan authorities to immediately investigate these security violations and harassment incidents, share report with the government of Pakistan in this regard, and ensure against recurrence of such incidents in future.

Charge d’Affairs was told that being party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities 1961, it was the responsibility of the government of Afghanistan to ensure safety, security and freedom of movement to all members of the mission.

Pak-Afghan security forces exchange fire along the border

PAK-AFGHAN BORDER: Six soldiers and five civilians were injured as a result of an exchange of fire between security forces of Pakistan and Afghanistan that took place today along the border. 

According to details Afghan security forces fired mortars and heavy machine guns from Nari district in the Kunar province targeting civilian population in Chitral’s Arundu village. Pakistan inflicted substantial damage to Afghan border posts by targeting Afghan Border posts Kandkxi and Dilbar from where fire was initiated. Fire stopped after engagement at military level.

A relevant piece published earlier:
Afghanistan closes its diplomatic mission in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Following a disagreement regarding ownership of Afghan National Market, Afghanistan has closed its Consulate General down here on Friday (11th of October, 2019). A note on white paper has been pasted on the gate of the Consulate informing about the closure. 

According to details the ownership of the building was claimed by a Pakistani citizen who went to the court. As a result the Supreme Court of Pakistan had given its verdict in his favor. Lamenting the act of removal of the Afghan flag from the edifice Afghan Consul General Mohammad Hashim Niazi stated that the Afghan government reckoned the place as its property.

According to the discontented diplomat Pakistan government had been earlier told that the diplomatic mission would be closed if Afghan flag was removed from the building. Afghan Consul General Mohammad Hashim Niazi accused that a Qabza Mafia was behind the incident and alleged that shopkeepers (probably Afghan nationals) were tortured.

Afghan Consul General Mohammad Hashim Niazi, most probably pointing towards the talks with Taliban,  stated that such acts should have been avoided at such a shaky  point of time when state of affairs were not clear. He asked the Government of Pakistan to use diplomatic channels in order to find a solution to the dispute.

Afghan Consul General has said that they owned the building and bought it from the owner. It is pertinent to mention here that  a Pakistani citizen, Syed Intikhab Haider Abidi, had claimed ownership of the Afghan market here while after hearing the arguments Supreme Court of Pakistan has given its verdict in favor of a third litigant Zawar Hussain. Later the district administration along with Police had got Afghan National Market vacated. The action was taken when CJ of PHC had issued a notice to the concerned officials to appear in person for framing of charges for non compliance with the court decision regarding getting the premises vacant. 

Afghan National Market is a structure built on a 3000 square meter plot opposite Jinnah Park in Firdous locality. It harbors 180 shops. According the property was purchased by the Afghan government back in 1946.

News Pakistan

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.