KABUL: Afghanistan’s Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund conveyed to Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), on Monday that Kabul had no intention of causing harm to Pakistan or any other nation.
This message was relayed during a meeting with an 11-member delegation led by Fazl, who had been invited by the Afghan interim government and arrived in Kabul a day before. This visit marks the JUI-F’s initial trip to the neighboring country following the Taliban’s assumption of power in 2021.
In a statement released by Afghan government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, Mullah Hasan was quoted affirming that the “Islamic Emirate will not permit any entity to pose a threat to any nation.”
The Afghan PM highlighted the crucial role of religious scholars in resolving issues and dispelling misunderstandings between Islamabad and Kabul.
Furthermore, he called for a cessation of what he termed as Pakistan authorities’ “harsh” approach towards Afghan refugees, emphasizing that such behavior does not resolve issues but breeds distrust.
Meanwhile, Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, present at the meeting, raised concerns about the challenges faced by Afghan traders and the hurdles created by Pakistani officials in transit trade and exports.
Muttaqi emphasized that trade and bilateral economic matters should not be sacrificed for political motives.
Fazl commended the “victory of the Islamic Emirate against the invasion” and extended congratulations to the people of Afghanistan. He expressed hope for the reinforcement of the Islamic system in Afghanistan, anticipating a positive influence on the Islamic world.
Fazl stated, “The aim of my visit is to eliminate misunderstandings between the two nations.” Both sides advocated for collaborative efforts to address the persisting issues in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In a separate statement by the JUI-F media cell post-meeting, Fazl underscored the importance of cooperation between the two countries in politics, economy, trade, and mutual development.
He also criticized the deportation of Afghan nationals, considering it detrimental to the relations between the two countries.
جے یو آئی سربراہ مولانا فضل الرحمان کی امارت اسلامیہ افغانستان کے وزیراعظم ملا محمد حسن اخوند سے ملاقات
وزیراعظم کا پاکستانی علماء کے وفد کا خیرمقدم
بیرونی قبضے کے خلاف امارت اسلامیہ کو عظیم فتح حاصل ہوئی ہے ۔مولانا فضل الرحمان
افغانستان کے عوام کو مبارکباد دیتے ہیں… pic.twitter.com/izPkTntyxC
— Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan (@juipakofficial) January 8, 2024
The meeting between the JUI-F chief and Afghan leaders occurred amidst strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan due to an increase in terrorist attacks, primarily claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban.
Earlier on the same day, a blast near a police van in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bajaur district led to the martyrdom of five policemen and injuries to 27 people, an attack claimed by the TTP.
Pakistan has accused the TTP and other groups of using Afghan territory against Pakistan’s interests. While the Afghan Taliban have refuted these allegations, authorities in Pakistan remain skeptical and have demanded action against the TTP, its sanctuaries, and the extradition of its leaders.
The already strained ties between the two neighbors escalated when Pakistan commenced the deportation of illegal Afghans. Since November 1 of the preceding year, nearly half a million undocumented Afghans have left Pakistan.