Pak Interior Minister to leave for Kabul on Wednesday
Islamabad, Jan 29 (IRNA) -- Pakistan's Interior Minister, Moinuddin Haider is scheduled to leave Islamabad for Kabul on Wednesday for one-day visit to the Afghan capital.
Sources in Islamabad say high on his agenda will be the issue of extradition of `criminals and sectarian terrorists' to Pakistan and `presently hiding in Afghanistan'.
However, Haider, according to Pakistan government officials, will also be discussing the issues of inflow of Afghan refugees, border situation and the Afghan transit trade.
On Monday, the Taliban envoy in Islamabad, Mulla Abdul Salam Zaeef called on the Pakistani Minister and discussed with him `matters of mutual interest'.
The visit had been announced several months ago but could not take place, according to Moinuddin Haider, due to the minister's pre-occupations.
In-between this period, speculations made rounds in Pakistan that the minister was procceding to Kabul to help in the solution of Osama issue between Taliban and the United States.
However, these were rejected by Moin Haider himself when he told reporters several days back that Osama issue was not Pakistan's cup of tea.
He said, ``This is an issue between the United States and Taliban and Washington should take it with Kabul.
``Osama is neither a Pakistani citizen nor is he staying in Pakistan,'' he added.
The Taliban Foreign Minister, Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil, during his recent visit to Pakistan, had said Taliban will extradite any the criminals wanted by Pakistan if they were traced in Afghanistan.
However, a controversy came up when Pakistani officials took up the matter with the Taliban Deputy Interior Minister, last year.
Some of the Taliban officials, then, disputed the definition of criminals and terrorists and others said these persons, if found in Afghanistan, would be exchanged for those of their opponents who, they said, were living in Pakistan.
One Taliban official had particularly named Shah Nawaz Tanai, the Defense Minister of the last Communist regime of Kabul, who had fled to Pakistan after staging an abortive coup bid against slain President, Dr. Najibullah.
The issue of the fresh influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan will also be discussed at the parlays between Moin Haider and the Taliban officials.
Pakistan last week sealed its border after reports that over and above the advent of 150,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan since September last year, more displaced Afghans were heading for the Pakistani border.
The transit trade issue is a lingering problem between Pakistan and Afghanistan for over a decade now.
Pakistan say foreign goods, not required in Afghanistan, were being imported under the transit trade and then the same were re-exported to Pakistan, damaging its economy and industry. However, Taliban had, after the last such encounter between the two sides late last year, had said while transit trade was their right, checking of smuggling and monitoring of border was Pakistan's own responsibility.
Anyhow, much water has since flowed in river Kabul and relations between the two sides have absorbed the influence of several bilateral impulses and external pressures.
The impact of these undercurrents will certainly come to surface, when Haider's concludes his sojourn in Kabul.
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