Pakistan welcomes announcement of intra-Afghan dialogue in Qatar
Pakistan on Friday welcomed the announcement of the much-awaited intra-Afghan dialogue, months after a peace agreement was reached between the US and the Taliban representatives to end the violence in the war-torn country.
Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday welcomed the announcement of the much-awaited intra-Afghan dialogue, months after a peace agreement was reached between the US and the Taliban representatives to end the violence in the war-torn country.
The negotiations are set to begin on Saturday in Qatar's Doha which also hosted the talks between the Taliban and the US sides that resulted in their agreement on February 29.
In a statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the announcement on the commencement of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations on September 12, saying finally, our combined efforts have brought forth the day that the Afghan people have been yearning for.
Pakistan has played a pivotal role in facilitating the Afghan peace process to this juncture, he said.
Afghans suffered from a continued conflict and bloodshed for over 40 years, while Pakistan endured the fall-out, reflected in incidence of terrorism, loss of precious lives and huge economic cost, he said.
I have underlined for a long time that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that the only way forward is a negotiated political settlement, he said.
He said it was now for the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity, work together constructively and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.
Successful culmination of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is indispensable for Afghanistan and for regional peace, stability and prosperity, Khan said.
Pakistan's Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq tweeted in Dari language to welcome the start of talks.
"Pakistan welcomes the announcement of the start of historic intra-Afghan negotiations on September 12 in Doha We hope these negotiations would lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan, which would bring prosperity to the country, he said.
He also extended Pakistan's support to the peace process.
On Thursday, the Afghan government, the Taliban, the United States and Qatar made an announcement about the commencement of the talks.
Initially, the talks were slated to begin in March but were delayed over the issue of releasing prisoners held by the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The deal, inked on February 29, allows for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.
India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. It has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled.
India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any "ungoverned spaces" where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.