Afghan ties, Gaza to feature in envoys’ moot

Pak calls its ambassadors in key capitals for conference

Kamran Yousaf December 24, 2023
Pakistan's UN Ambassador Munir Akram. PHOTO: APP


The country’s ambassadors posted in key world capitals have been summoned by the government for a three-day in-house consultations on foreign policy challenges including the current state of relationship with Afghanistan, deteriorating situation in the Middle East, Kashmir dispute and other matters.

Sources on Sunday told The Express Tribune that ambassadors stationed in 20 key world capitals and international organisations would attend the conference to be held at the Foreign Office in the first week of January.

They further said caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar would attend the inaugural session. Relevant officials will join the diplomats for the three-day consultations.

The conference is an annual feature to discuss contemporary foreign challenges and form Pakistan's policy accordingly.

This is the first time conference is taking place in person since 2019.

The sources said ambassadors of Pakistan in the US, France, Germany, UK, India, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries would attend the conference.

Permanent representatives to the UN and other organisations of the global body will also participate in the event.

The sources said the diplomats would present their respective briefings on the issues that directly affected Pakistan’s foreign policy and make recommendations at the end of the conference.

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Among the issues that are likely to dominate the conference is the current state of tense relationship with Afghanistan.

Ties between Islamabad and Kabul are tense over the latter’s refusal to tackle the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The number of attacks in Pakistan from across the border has jacked up in recent months.

The Afghan Taliban government's reluctance to act against the TTP has compelled Pakistan to change its approach towards the Kabul regime.

At a recent debate at the UN Security Council, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN laid down new terms of engagement between the Afghan Taliban and international community.

Munir Akram told the world body that any process of engagement with the Afghan Taliban government must focus on the actions it took against terrorist outfits, including the TTP.

This was a departure from Pakistan's earlier stance where Islamabad had been advocating for engagement with the Afghan Taliban based on accepting the ground realities.

Read: Afghan Taliban arrest TTP terrorists amid growing pressure

Pakistan's charge d'affaires in Kabul will give his input on the current state of ties with the Taliban government.

The other issue figuring high on the agenda will be the current situation in Gaza.

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks, Israel has carried out relentless bombing and ground offensive in Gaza.

The massacre in Gaza has raised questions about the role of the Islamic world.

The relationship with New Delhi, with particular reference to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), will be discussed in detail as well.

India has further strengthened control over the disputed territory after the recent decision of its Supreme Court, endorsing the Narendra Modi government’s August 5, 2019 unilateral act of depriving IIOJK of its special status.

Given Pakistan's financial problems, the conference will also discuss economic diplomacy.

It is expected that civil-military led Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) would be subject of the discussion in the realm of economic diplomacy.


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