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Pakistan delegation trip cancelled just before landing in Kabul

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 April 2021, 9:58 IST
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The visit of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation to Afghanistan has been scrapped due to the security threat.

As soon as the plane was about to land in Kabul, the trip was cancelled due to a security threat.

"Speaker's visit to Kabul was postponed as the airport was closed due to a security threat.

The plane was about to descent when the control tower informed of the closure of the airport. New dates for the visit will be decided after mutual consultations,"Pakistan's Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

As per media reports, the five-member parliamentary delegation, led by parliamentary secretary Asad Qaisar, was looking to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries during the three-day visit, as well as the support of progress in the war-torn country's peace process.

Former Pakistani senator Farhatullah Babar questioned the timing of the trip's mysterious cancellation.

"Security threat arose just when landing. Was the visit not cleared beforehand? Visit postponed indefinitely, the new date given. No regrets by hosts. Decision conveyed by tower operator. Normal protocol of high-level rep of host speaking to guest from tower ignored. There's more to it," Babar said in a tweet.

The so-called threat comes as calls for blacklisting Pakistan by the FATF intensifies. Former Canadian Ambassador Chris Alexander has called for Islamabad to be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) while stating that the Imran Khan government continues to support Taliban and other terror outfits.

In December last year, a series of videos had surfaced showing senior Taliban leaders meeting their followers and Taliban fighters in Pakistan.

In the videos, Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Taliban political office, was seen holding a briefing with the Taliban cadre on the Afghanistan peace negotiations and acknowledging the presence of the Taliban's top leadership in Pakistan.

In December, former Pakistan senator Afrasiab Khattak said Pakistan is using the Taliban as a "tool" for its dominance in Afghanistan under the pretext of strategic depth.

The peace negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban began in the Qatari capital of Doha back in September. In early December, Kabul and the Taliban announced that they had agreed on the framework of the talks, allowing for discussions to now be held on substantive issues. Little progress, however, has so far been made since then.


First published: 9 April 2021, 9:58 IST