Pakistan, Afghan Taliban agree to boost trade, lower tension

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani authorities and Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed foreign minister have agreed to enhance trade and lower tensions amid a surge of militant attacks. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed the accord, which is aimed at improving coordination on counterterrorism amid a surge of militant attacks near the border between the countries. Sealing the deal were Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his Afghan counterpart, Taliban-appointed Amir Khan Muttaqi. Earlier, Bhutto Zardari and Muttaqi also held a mini-summit with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Such strategic talks had been on hold in recent years, according to analysts, who say China is expanding its influence in the region.