ISI chief, foreign secretary visit Kabul to defuse tension

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Shafaqna Pakistan: Head of Pakistan’s premier spy agency and the foreign secretary on Monday visited Kabul as part of an effort to defuse tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan over harassment of diplomats.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held talks with the Afghan intelligence chief, national security adviser and acting foreign minister to discuss the recent hiccup in the relationship between the two neighbours.

Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been growing in recent days with both sides accusing the other for harassing their respective diplomatic staff. Islamabad in particular had lodged strong protest with Kabul over harassment of its diplomats posted in Afghanistan by the Afghan intelligence agencies. Afghanistan also has its own list of grievances against Pakistan.

Against this backdrop, the ISI director general and foreign secretary visited Kabul.

A foreign office official, who requested not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to media on the subject, said both sides agreed to form a ‘technical committee’ to look into the matter with a view to immediately resolving it.

“Both sides also agreed to maintain close liaison and communication and identify steps to move forward on relevant issues,” the official added.

He disclosed the the high-powered Pakistani delegation and Afghan authorities also discussed other aspects of bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It was also decided that the next meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) would be held in Kabul in December. APAPPS framework provides a comprehensive and structured mechanism to enhance engagement between counterpart institutions of the two countries.