Ghani seeks Pakistan help for talks with Taliban
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has sought Pakistan’s help in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table for peaceful settlement of over a decade old conflict in Afghanistan for the sake of peace and security in the region, media reports Friday.
Ghani, the Dawn.com expressed these views in his meeting Pervez Khattak, chief minister of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, who headed a 27-members delegation on his recent visit to Kabul.
The visit aimed at cementing efforts to create goodwill and explore possibilities of strengthening bilateral relations, particularly in trade and commerce.
The Afghan president urged Pakistan to expedite efforts to facilitate a dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban, saying peace and security in the region was in the interest of the two countries.
Afghan officials say Pakistan had promised to facilitate negotiations between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban as early as the first week of March but the euphoria created by a strong commitment from Islamabad was now quickly turning into disappointment.
“I want strong and permanent friendship with Pakistan,” the chief minister quoted Ghani as saying. “I saw a strong desire in the Afghan leadership for peace and friendship with Pakistan. There is sincerity in Afghanistan and we should seize this opportunity,” the Khattak quoted the president as saying.
Ghani in particular praised the reforms introduced by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and asked the chief minister to send him relevant documents to let him see if the same could be implemented in Afghanistan.
“Ninety per cent of the people serving now would land in jail when I introduce reforms,” Ghani told the chief minister.
During the visit, the Afghan minister for refugees and repatriation and foreign minister raised the issue of arrests and alleged harassment of undocumented Afghans.
“We want all Afghans to return to their homeland and contribute in its development and reconstruction,” Salahuddin Rabbani said. But, he said, the Afghan government needed time to develop a strategy to absorb its returning citizens.
The chief minister held out the assurance that the Afghan refugees were their brothers and no highhandedness would be allowed against them.
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