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US blames historic Doha negotiations on Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD:

US Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad told Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday that success in the Afghan peace process would not have been possible without the “support sincere and unconditional ”from Islamabad.

Khalilzad, who arrived in the federal capital earlier in the day accompanied by a delegation of three senior US officials, met with the army chief of staff at GQG and appreciated Pakistan’s key role in the historic peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.

A delegation led by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, United States Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, today called COAS at GHQ. Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq, Pak’s Special Representative for Afghanistan was also present. Mutual interest issues, regional security (1/3) pic.twitter.com/q0gJrzxF3Q

– DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) September 14, 2020

The impending peace deal is the result of a painstaking 14-month negotiation process – negotiated and facilitated by Pakistan – between the United States and the Taliban.

The American interlocutor arrived in Islamabad from the Qatari capital to discuss the peace talks, with Pakistan being one of the main actors working to restore peace in war-torn Afghanistan where thousands of people have lost their lives over nearly two decades of conflict.

According to the media branch of the military, General Bajwa told the visiting dignitary that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given a clear vision for peace and connectivity in the region.

“All elements of national power are united to make this vision a reality to ensure the long-awaited peace, progress and prosperity in the region,” the army chief said in an inter public relations press release. -services (ISPR).

… SFOC said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given a clear vision for peace and connectivity in the region and all elements of national power are united to make this vision a reality to ensure peace, the long-awaited progress and prosperity in the region. (3/3)

– DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) September 14, 2020

Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq, Special Representative of Pakistan for Afghanistan, was also present at the meeting and other matters of mutual interest and regional security were also discussed.

The Afghan government has insisted on its calls for a truce with the Taliban, reiterating its desire for a long-term ceasefire during the Doha talks.

The two sides are in the early stages of meetings in the Qatari capital to try to strike a deal that would end the bloodshed in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government and the United States called on warring parties to lay down their arms during the opening ceremony on Saturday.

But the Taliban did not mention a truce when they came to the negotiating table.

The head of the Afghan government’s peace process, Abdullah Abdullah, however suggested that the Taliban could offer a ceasefire in exchange for the release of more of their imprisoned fighters.

Afghan Presidency spokesman Sediq Seddiqi tweeted on Monday that the presence of government negotiators at the talks “aims to achieve a ceasefire, end violence and ensure lasting peace and stability in the country”.

Pakistan proposed a four-point way forward for the Afghan peace process that provided for continued support for the Afghan-led, Afghan-led process while respecting the emerging consensus of intra-Afghan talks and ensuring that violence has never returned to the country or used Afghan soil in terrorist outfits.

The strategy was proposed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who attended the opening ceremony of the historic intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha via video link.

He proposed the following four-pronged strategy: continue to support the Afghan-led and Afghan-led peace process while respecting the consensus emerging from intra-Afghan negotiations; ensure that Afghanistan neither witnesses the violent days of the past nor becomes a space for elements that would harm others beyond its borders; deepening and sustaining economic engagement with Afghanistan for its reconstruction and economic development; and ensure the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland, with sufficient resources and time, in dignity and honor.

The United States struck a deal with the Taliban in February that will allow them to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.

Abdullah, president of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation, stressed that the process “could be the beginning of history made in the future – and hopefully sooner rather than later”.

In a speech at the opening ceremony, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar repeated the message that Afghanistan should be run under Islamic law, highlighting a likely sticking point .

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said Afghans should learn lessons from the failure to implement a process of political reconciliation in the country after the Soviet Union completed its withdrawal in 1989.

“The Afghans who sacrificed so much to expel the Soviets … have failed politically by engaging in civil war with each other. I hope the Afghans pay attention and learn from this period,” a- he told Al-Jazeera TV.

“That is why we have started this peace process.”

The US-backed negotiations come six months later than expected, due to disagreements over a controversial prisoner swap agreed to in the February deal between the US and the Taliban.

Under the terms of the agreement, all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan by spring 2021, in exchange for security commitments from the militants.

In addition, 5,000 Taliban prisoners have already been released in exchange for 1,000 Afghan soldiers.

US President Donald Trump, who faces an election in less than two months, is eager to keep his promises to end America’s longest war with the Taliban.

Doha state media reported on Sunday that Qatari leader Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met with Afghan government and Taliban officials to wish them success in the ongoing peace talks. in the Gulf State.

(With the contribution of AFP)



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