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March 4, 2020

Peace deal not enough as attitudes must also be changed, says Qureshi

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March 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Afghanistan's leadership had to take the responsibility to create a "favourable environment" to take intra-Afghan talks forward after the historic deal.

"Pakistan can create a favourable environment, it cannot take (Afghanistan's) decisions. Attitudes will have to be corrected along with deals, those who wanted to create obstacles were present before as well; it is a testament to the excellence of the (Afghan) political leadership that they make them unsuccessful."

Qureshi termed the Doha peace deal an "important development" and urged all stakeholders not to "waste this opportunity," reported foreign media on Tuesday. "What happened in Doha was the first step, the next step is intra-Afghan talks president Ghani should move forward keeping his country's interests foremost and the Taliban should also display generosity."

The foreign minister said war was not an option as it was not an "easy process". Qureshi said both parties will have to "show flexibility" for each other, cautioning that if the truce did not hold, it would be "Afghanistan's loss".

Qureshi termed the ongoing situation a "test for the Afghan leadership", adding that it remained to be seen whether "they move forward or continue to showcase the same kind of narrow thinking as before".

He said Pakistan wanted things to be settled with "sincerity" and wished for peace and stability in Afghanistan. The foreign minister reminded all stakeholders that "Pakistan has played the role it had to" and it was commended by the world community.