According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) late on Saturday, Muttaqi — who is currently in Pakistan on a four-day visit to participate in bilateral and trilateral meetings — called on the army chief at his office.
Since its launch in 2017, the trilateral dialogue mechanism has become an important platform for the three countries to enhance understanding and deepen mutual trust and cooperation. The dialogue this time is taking place at a time when cross-border attacks from Afghanistan are on the rise.
The statement said the two discussed issues of mutual interest, including aspects related to regional security, border management, and formalisation of bilateral security mechanisms for “improvement in the current security environment”.
“COAS stressed the need for enhanced cooperation between the two brotherly neighbours to effectively tackle the common challenges of terrorism and extremism. He reiterated the need for full support and commitment from the Afghan interim government in matters of mutual interest,” the ISPR said, adding that the COAS also reaffirmed “Pakistan’s commitment to a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan”.
The statement added that the Afghan minister appreciated Pakistan’s support for the people of Afghanistan and acknowledged the “important role that Pakistan continues to play in facilitating peace and development in Afghanistan”.
Muttaqi also expressed his desire to work closely with Pakistan to promote regional stability and prosperity, it added.
Both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining regular contact to strengthen bilateral ties and address issues of common concern.
COAS meets Chinese FM
Separately, COAS Munir also met with Qin Gang, China’s state councillor and foreign minister, who is also in Pakistan alongside the Afghan minister.
“Matters of mutual interest, including regional security and defence cooperation, came under discussion,” the ISPR said.
During the meeting, the army chief reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the China-Pakistan strategic relationship. COAS Munir also pledged full support for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and appreciated Beijing’s unwavering support for Pakistan on regional and international issues, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese minister underscored the importance of the longstanding strategic relationship between the two countries and expressed satisfaction over CPEC’s progress while reiterating his country’s commitment to its timely completion.
“He also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, especially the support of Pakistan’s armed forces for the provision of security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan,” the ISPR said.
The two dignitaries also discussed the evolving security situation in the region.
The army chief acknowledged China’s role in promoting peace and stability in the region, and both sides agreed to enhance their existing cooperation in defence and security domains to effectively counter common security challenges, the statement said.
“The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both sides reiterating their resolve to further strengthen the time-tested, all-weather friendship between Pakistan and China,” the ISPR said.
Pakistan, China vow to work for Afghan stability
At “productive” trilateral talks on Saturday, Pakistan and China assured Afghanistan of their cooperation so that the conflict-torn country begins its journey towards stability.
At the 5th Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his Chinese and Afghan counterparts, held productive discussion on matters of mutual interest, including political engagement, counter-terrorism, trade and connectivity.
The trilateral dialogue was followed by the 4th round of Sino-Pak strategic dialogue.
Bilawal, while speaking at a joint stakeout with Qin after the strategic dialogue, stressed that peace and stability in Afghanistan remained vital for the socioeconomic development, connectivity and prosperity of the region.
“We will continue to work together with all stakeholders for peaceful, stable, prosperous and united Afghanistan,” he said.
The foreign minister said engagement with the Afghan authorities was a must and it was their consistent message to them “help us help you”.
He said unlocking Afghanistan’s potential is crucial for the benefit of its people, and that achieving stability and peace in the country is essential.
He said the core issue and red line was terrorism, which posed a serious threat to regional peace and was a stumbling block in the way of prosperity for the Afghan people.
He said that during his recent SCO-CFM meetings in India, they discussed different projects within the framework of SCO including CASA, Trans-Afghan railways, but all these projects hinged upon addressing the security issues in Afghanistan.