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Asif Ali Khan Durrani Appointed as Special Representative on Afghanistan

Durrani is a career diplomat for 32 years. He earlier served as deputy chief of Pakistan’s mission in Kabul. The special envoy will directly report to PM Office. Islamabad: Asif Ali
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Pakistan appoints Asif Durrani as special envoy for Afghanistan
  • Durrani is a career diplomat for 32 years.
  • He earlier served as deputy chief of Pakistan’s mission in Kabul.
  • The special envoy will directly report to PM Office.

Islamabad: Asif Ali Khan Durrani, a career diplomat with 32 years of experience, has been appointed as a special representative on Afghanistan as the complex relationship between the two neighboring nations continues.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed Durrani to the position, which had been vacant since March when his predecessor Mohammad Sadiq resigned after nearly three years of service. Sadiq’s resignation followed unsuccessful peace talks with the banned organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Kabul, which were initially initiated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

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In his new role, Durrani will directly report to the Prime Minister’s Office. On Tuesday, he met with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.

Durrani’s appointment is significant as discussions are underway regarding the expansion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into Afghanistan. The aim is to connect the landlocked Central Asian region to the world through Pakistan and Afghanistan.

During a trilateral dialogue earlier this month, involving the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the three nations emphasized the importance of exploring practical avenues to revive the Afghan economy and generate economic activity within Afghanistan. They also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance trilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan.

Durrani’s appointment is crucial at a time when Pakistan is facing an increase in terrorist activities, including attacks on law enforcement agencies and the destruction of girls’ schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During his visit to Pakistan, Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi urged Islamabad to engage in dialogue with the TTP, which is known for its involvement in most attacks in the country.

Durrani, a seasoned diplomat, previously served as the deputy chief of Pakistan’s mission in Kabul from 2005 to 2009. He is fluent in Pashto and Dari, which are widely spoken languages in Afghanistan. He has also held ambassadorial positions in Iran and the United Arab Emirates and has served in diplomatic postings in New Delhi, New York, Kabul, and London.

Currently, Durrani was working as a senior research fellow at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). He comes from a family of experienced bureaucrats and diplomats from Quetta city in Balochistan.

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