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Pakistan

Web Desk
August 25, 2020

Pakistan cautions Afghan Taliban of ‘spoilers’

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, Aug 25, 2020
The delegation of Afghan Taliban thanked the government and people of Pakistan “for their consistent support to the people of Afghanistan, including for graciously hosting Afghan refugees for over four decades”.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday cautioned the Afghan Taliban of “spoilers” who did not wish to see return of peace in the region.

The warning from Islamabad came, in a meeting of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi with a Taliban Political Commission (TPC) delegation on Tuesday.

The TPC delegation was headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and was welcomed by the foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

“During the meeting, views were exchanged on the current status of the Afghan peace process and the way forward,” a post-meeting statement by the Foreign Office said.

During the exchange, Qureshi underscored Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consistent stance that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political settlement was the only way forward.

“Highlighting Pakistan’s positive contribution to the peace and reconciliation process, culminating in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement in Doha on 29 February 2020, the foreign minister underlined that this historic opportunity must be seized by the Afghan stakeholders to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated political solution,” read the statement.

According to the statement, the foreign minister reiterated Pakistan’s “commitment to a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan”.

He emphasised the need for the US-Taliban agreement to be realised in its entirety “paving the way for the earliest possible commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiations”.

Qureshi told the delegation that for its part “Pakistan will continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for durable peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond”.

The foreign minister noted that the two countries have long-standing ties based on amity, shared history and geography and conveyed Pakistans abiding solidarity with the brotherly people of Afghanistan.

He called upon the international community to “enhance its engagement for reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan”.

“The foreign minister also underscored the need for creating economic opportunities and an environment conducive for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour,” the statement said.

Baradar, according to the statement, thanked Qureshi for the invitation and “affirmed support for efforts for peace, security and development in Afghanistan”.

The delegation also thanked the government and people of Pakistan “for their consistent support to the people of Afghanistan, including for graciously hosting Afghan refugees for over four decades”.

This was the third meeting with the Afghan Taliban delegation. Previously, the two sides met in October 2019 at the Foreign Office and in Doha in February this year.