No decision on Taliban inmates’ transfer: US
KABUL (PAN): The United States on Monday said no decision had been made so far on the transfer of Taliban inmates from the Guantanamo Bay prison as part of efforts at reviving peace negotiations.
"As far as I know, we haven't made any decisions on transferring prisoners in any way, shape or form," US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham said, while hinting at the reduction in insurgents’ aversion to talks.
He asked Pakistan to play a cooperative role in promoting the reconciliation process that the fighters suspended in March, blaming the United States for its failure to honour its commitments.
However, the envoy acknowledged: "There are contacts taking place, mostly at this point with Afghans, among Afghans, Taliban and... and as a result, there is some rethinking among the Taliban about their future choices."
The ambassador said his country was concerned at the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and the US was in talks on the issue with both allies.
Cunningham added NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen was talking to Pakistani and Afghan officials to ensure that no misunderstanding took place.
To a question, he said US and Afghan officials had to consult each other under the strategic agreement if Afghanistan came under attack.
Over the past one and a half year, a barrage of rockets has been fired into Afghanistan from Pakistan, killing and wounding dozens of people and displacing many families. Afghan officials blame the Pakistan army for the cross-border shelling.
The envoy promised the US would continue to make all-out efforts to achieve a breakthrough in talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan on the incursions. He said trilateral talks had long been ongoing.
Cunningham explained they were in contact with Kabul and Islamabad to know what was really happening in the border region and his country would wait to ascertain correct information.
“Something that is more important and can help is military cooperation between us, Pakistan and Afghanistan. That effort is ongoing,” he continued.
The envoy said the Afghan government had to honour its promises of introducing reforms, which he called crucial to the success of international efforts in the country.
He reiterated Kabul had to keep its promises on good governance, rule of law, education, reforms in the justice system and training of judges and attorneys.
The international community had conveyed a clear message to Afghanistan at the Tokyo Conference that if it wanted continued assistance, it had to ensure good governance and reforms, the diplomat concluded.