A Pakistani Parliamentary Delegation was set to arrive in Afghanistan, on the 8th of April. The delegation was a continuation of a series of high-level visits between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was part of Pakistan’s efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan. On the invitation of Wolesi Jirga Speaker, Mir Rahman Rahmani, the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Asad Qaiser was planning to visit Kabul on a three-day visit.
Pakistani Delegation sent back due to Security Threat
However, later on, news from the Wolesi Jirga suggested that the delegation was sent back due to reasons other than the cited “security threats”. Moreover, the Wolesi Jirga also assigned a delegation to investigate the reason behind not letting the flight land at Kabul Airport.
Initially, Officials in Afghanistan reported that the plane was denied landing. The parliamentary delegation aircraft ordered to divert back to Pakistan. This happened due to the fact that explosive devices discovered at the Kabul airport.
The Spokesperson for the Afghan Parliament said that the discovery of an “unexploded ordinance” in a part of the airport. According to him, the finding prompted the control tower to deny landing permission to several aircraft. This included the aircraft carrying the Pakistani guests.
Initial Reports of a Security Threat turned out to be False
Later, NATO-led military personnel assisted Afghan partners in carrying out a controlled detonation to defuse the bomb. According to Zazai, both Rahmani and Qaiser agreed to reschedule the visit. According to Ambassador Sadiq Khan, the postponement was due to an “intelligence threat”. Moreover, he added that the control tower informed the plane right before landing that the airport was closing down.
Islamabad’s Diplomatic Efforts
Islamabad has recently increased its diplomatic outreach to strengthen ties with Kabul. This includes various development initiatives for Afghan youth and efforts to improve bilateral trade relations.
Pakistan’s efforts in constructing peaceful ties with Afghanistan
Additionally, Islamabad has deterred the visa restrictions for Afghans. Pakistan has even recently increased the number of scholarships for Afghan students in Pakistani institutions. Pakistan holds the credit for facilitating peace talks between Taliban leaders and the US. The talks resulted in the two rivals signing a historic agreement in February 2020. It paved the way for US troops to finally begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan.