Islamabad hopes for meaningful Afghan peace talks
KABUL (Pajhwok): A longtime Taliban supporter, Pakistan hopes the incoming Afghan leader will have better chances than President Hamid Karzai’s administration to launch serious peace parleys with the militant movement.
National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said in an interview published on Friday: "A new government with legitimacy … will improve the prospects for a more meaningful interaction and dialogue for reconciliation and peace."
As no candidate won an absolute majority in the first round on April 5, the contest between top vote-getters Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani has gone to a runoff, set for June 14.
Tariq Fatemi, the foreign affairs advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told the Wall Street Journal a successful election would strengthen Kabul's hand in creating a broad-based coalition of all stakeholders.
"We want whoever comes to power to be able to reach out to all segments of the Afghan society," he said.
Also def fecto foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz said the Afghan Taliban’s control of swaths of territory across the border was not in Islamabad’s interest. Taliban-controlled areas could serve as sanctuary for the Pakistani fighters, he argued.
The Afghan rebels should be offered a share in power through governorships of some provinces and other unelected appointments, Aziz suggested. "Not territory, but participation. You have to make it worthwhile for them."
Pakistan’s policy of non-interference could be a model for other regional countries, an approach that would end proxy wars in Afghanistan, believed Aziz.
"Let Afghanistan's fate be determined by the Afghans themselves. Once they have sorted out all their problems, we can all compete in trade and reconstruction and development, but not in the power game," he remarked.
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