Pakistani ambassador meets Taliban governor in Kandahar

Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani, met with Kandahar’s Taliban governor, Mohammad Shirin Akhund, during a visit to Kandahar province. Akhund is known as a close aide to the Taliban leader.

The meeting, reported Tuesday by the Taliban-run National Television, focused on the outcomes of the recent Pakistani elections and the “strengthening of relations” between Pakistan and the Taliban.

Mullah Shirin, a close associate of Taliban leader Hebatullah Akhundzada, was appointed governor of the Taliban-controlled Kandahar province by decree from Akhundzada in April 2022. Shortly after assuming his position, Shirin visited Pakistan.

Previously, Shirin served as the deputy of intelligence for the Taliban’s Ministry of Defense.

In a recent meeting with Obaidullah Nizamani, as reported by the Taliban-controlled national television, Akhund extended congratulations on the outcome of the Pakistani elections.

The specifics of Nizamani’s visit to Kandahar, including whether he met with the Taliban leader, have not been disclosed.

Nizamani is reportedly planning a return trip to Pakistan to meet with the country’s foreign minister and other new officials, according to the report.

The Pakistani embassy in Kabul has yet to comment on the meeting.