Afghan minister to attend JEC huddle

Last meeting was put off after Kabul accused Pakistan of the Taliban’s resurgence

Tahir Khan November 17, 2015
Last meeting was put off after Kabul accused Pakistan of the Taliban’s resurgence. PHOTO: twitter.com/eklil_hakimi

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has officially confirmed its Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi will travel to Islamabad next week to attend the Joint Economic Commission (JEC), indicating that the two neighbours have kept communications open in spite of rising tensions.

The Pak-Afghan JEC was postponed in August in the wake of the Taliban’s deadly attacks under their new chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. Kabul had pinned the blame on Pakistan and also refused to participate in the 10th JEC meeting slated for August 24 and 25.

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On Monday, however, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said in Kabul that the finance minister will take part in the upcoming meeting and will push for the implementation of decisions taken during last year’s visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan.

The next two-day JEC meeting will be held on November 23 and 24. The Afghan finance ministry said “enhancement of bilateral trade and economic cooperation would be the main focus”.

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Both countries had agreed on 48 points during the Afghan president’s visit to Islamabad. Hekmat said Pakistan’s Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar had promised to resolve all problems, including the release of Afghan transit goods within a week.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2015.

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