PESHAWAR: In a bid to strengthen bilateral relations and resolve rifts and misunderstanding between the two neighbouring countries, a delegation of Afghan ulema visited Torkham and Landi Kotal Khyber Agency on Wednesday.
Upon entering Pakistan, the Afghan delegation was warmly received by the political administration’s officers, including Tehsildar Shamsul Islam. The Jirga members, comprising Maulvi Mohammad, Maulvi Jabar, Maulvi Inayat Khan, Maulvi Sher Mohammad, Maulvi Zakarya, Ameer Lal Mohammad and Maulvi Mualam Gul, met Khyber Agency’s elders.
In presence of the Landi Kotal assistant political agent and tehsildar, the Afghan ulema and the tribal elders from Khyber Agency exchanged views on matters of bilateral interest, especially increased restriction at the Pak Afghan border. Similarly, the matter of visa restrictions was also discussed during the meeting.
In particular, the Afghan ulema informed the fellow tribal elders about problems and hardships that patients face due to visa restrictions as Afghanistan lacks adequate hospitals and treatment facilities.
The Afghan delegation requested relaxation in visa restrictions so that patients’ miseries could be alleviated.
The tribal elders and political administration’s representatives assured the delegation that their concerns will be conveyed to the high-ups in Islamabad. They also expressed reservations over growing influence of India in Afghanistan and added that the matter is ‘painful’ for the government.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had visited Kabul on October 1st and held detailed talks with President Dr Ashraf Ghani and other high ranking authorities. During the visit of COAS, the two sides agreed to encourage bilateral visits, trade, and other activities. In addition, it was also suggested that joint working groups would be established. The Afghan ulema’s visit to border towns of Landi Kotal and Torkham is apparently part of these working groups that are making concerted efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.