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Pakistan Hosts a Meeting of Regional Envoys

September 12, 2021

According to a security source, Pakistan hosted a meeting of envoys from various countries in the region on Saturday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. There was no official statement issued regarding the meeting, but an intelligence source privately confirmed that it had occurred. The meeting was attended by intelligence chiefs from Russia, China, Iran, and a number of Central Asian countries. “Pakistan’s hosting of the meeting reflects our genuine desire for peace in the region and in Afghanistan,” the source said.

It was the ongoing effort by Pakistan, which had hosted meetings of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s six neighboring countries as well as their special diplomats in recent days to develop a common regional strategy for dealing with challenges arising from the events unfolding in the war-torn country since the fall of Ghani’s regime. According to a joint statement released after their meeting, foreign ministers from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries “agreed to remain captured of the developments in Afghanistan and organize with each other for a holistic, comprehensive, and harmonized response.”

Regional countries are concerned about the security situation along their borders with Afghanistan, terrorists using Afghan soil to launch attacks on other countries, the spread of extremism, the possibility of a refugee influx, drug trafficking, and international terrorism. According to the TASS news wire, Russian Security Council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned in an Op-Ed published on Saturday by the Gazeta.Ru news website that tens of thousands of members of the militant Islamic State (IS) group were based in Afghanistan’s provinces close to borders with Central Asian countries.

Medvedev said, “According to intelligence services, there are tens of thousands of IS militants and followers in the region, with the majority of them concentrated in the northern and eastern provinces bordering Central Asian countries. “The Islamic State’s leadership has openly revealed plans to expand its influence throughout the region”. During his visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, CIA Director William Burns also met with Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hamid. W. Burns had come here to express the United States’ concerns about the new situation and to see how Pakistan could assist in dealing with them.

On September 4, the ISI DG travelled to Afghanistan, where he reportedly met with the new Taliban regime. According to a source, he stressed the importance of dealing with the terrorist threat posed by groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, ETIM, TTP, BLA, and Jundullah to neighboring countries in his meetings in Kabul. While welcoming the Taliban’s formation of a caretaker government in Afghanistan, Islamabad expressed hope that “the new political regime will ensure collective approach for peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan.”

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