DG ISI discusses govt
formation with Afghan leaders

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ISLAMABAD: Director General (DG) Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed has met former Prime Minister of Afghanistan and Hezb-e-Islami Chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and other Afghan leaders during his Kabul visit following a Taliban takeover.

According to the Afghan media reports, intelligence chief met Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Saturday night and discussed issues around forming an inclusive government. Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed on Saturday led a delegation of senior Pakistan officials to Kabul to hold talks with Taliban leadership.

He also met Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan and other officials during his visit to Kabul. It was reported ahead of a meeting with the Taliban delegation that the two sides would discuss travel procedures along the Pak-Afghan border and requests regarding the evacuation of foreigners from Afghanistan by various countries.

Director General (DG) Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed

They will devise a procedure for the evacuation of foreigners from Afghanistan, besides also discussing mechanism regarding daily transit of travellers from the Pak-Afghan border,the sources having knowledge of the agenda said.

They further shared that security issues would also come up during the meeting and a joint mechanism would be devised to stop elements that could take advantage of the ongoing situation and disturb the peace on both sides of the border.

The ISI chief’s trip, which was possibly meant to be secret, became public after he was spotted along with Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan and other officials at a hotel in Kabul taking tea.

A picture taken by a journalist on that occasion went viral on social media. Some claim it was Gen Hamid’s second visit to Kabul in as many weeks.

The DG ISI was also spotted at a Kabul hotel where a reporter of a foreign news channel asked Gen Faiz What do you think will happen in Afghanistan now. Dont worry, everything will be okay, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed replied.

 Lt Gen Faiz Hameed said on Saturday that “everything will be okay” in Afghanistan as he arrived in Kabul on what sources said was day-long trip related to the security of the region.

In a video posted on Twitter by Channel 4 News, the ISI chief can be seen alongside Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan at a hotel in Kabul.

“What do you hope is going to happen now in Afghanistan,” a reporter asked Gen Faiz. “We are working for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said a member of Hameed’s entourage.

“Don’t worry, everything will be okay,” the ISI chief told the reporter with a smile.

According to sources, Gen Faiz will hold a meeting with the Taliban during his visit and converse about the issue of pending requests from countries and international organisations for the repatriation of their people through Pakistan.

He is also expected to discuss with Afghan leaders border management in connection to the movement of Afghans who cross over on a daily basis as routine.

Sources said the discussion on the overall security issue — to ensure that spoilers and terrorist organisations do not take advantage of the situation — will also take place with the Taliban.

Gen Faiz is also expected to meet the Pakistani ambassador and his team on issues of repatriation and transit through Pakistan and the situation on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had on Aug 30 affirmed that Pakistan’s borders were secure despite the challenges the country faces and that the armed forces were “prepared to meet any situation”.

He had made the comment during a briefing given to members of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, and the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence during their visit to the General Headquarters (GHQ).

During the briefing, Gen Bajwa had said the armed forces, with the support of the nation, have “achieved unprecedented successes” in the fight against terrorism and in bringing normalcy to Pakistan.

The chief of army staff also underscored the importance of restoring peace in war-torn Afghanistan for sustainable development of the South Asian region.