The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Albares, has arrived this Friday in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, to maintain contacts with the Government of this neighboring country of Afghanistan and to seek formulas to be able to evacuate more Afghan collaborators who could not be repatriated from Kabul.
In a trip not previously announced by Foreign Affairs, Albares aims to “demonstrate in practice and on the ground the efforts to achieve the goal of leaving no one behind,” according to sources from this department. It is the first visit of a Spanish foreign minister to Pakistan after 70 years of diplomatic relations.
During the day, he will meet with the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khansu, with the Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshí, and with the Chief of the Defense Staff. With all of them he will address how to “open new avenues of collaboration” for the evacuation of Afghans who have collaborated with Spain and who remain in Afghanistan.
Albares travels to offer the Pakistani authorities “a message of confidence” so that collaborators who cross the border are treated “as soon as possible” by the Spanish embassy in Islamabad in order to reduce migratory pressure on Pakistan, the sources add.
Pakistan, which has more than 2,600 kilometers of border with Afghanistan, is the preferred land route for more Afghans to leave.
Since the Taliban seized power, the Pakistani authorities have stepped up control of their border to prevent the arrival of more refugees, except those with a visa.
Islamabad has had a good relationship with the Taliban since the US occupation of Afghanistan in late 2001, which is why it is seen as a key player in dialogue with radical Islamists.
The United States has also accused him of supporting the insurgents with weapons to regain control of Afghanistan, although Pakistan has denied it.
Albares’s trip takes place two weeks after Spain completed the evacuation of 2,206 people among Spaniards and, above all, Afghans from Kabul airport as they fled the Taliban after taking control of the country.