Afghan govt to revitalize ties with Pakistan: EU envoy
KABUL (Pajhwok): In a fresh development, European Union’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Franz-Michael Mellibin said that Afghan government was thinking about “revitalising” the process for normalisation with Pakistan, media reports on Friday.
Pakistan’s Dawn.com reports that Amb Mellibin, who also heads the EU Delegation for Afghanistan, was speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.
The EU ambassador’s views contrasted the vibes coming from Kabul, where the leadership is increasingly adopting a belligerent tone towards Islamabad.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had after assuming presidency last year taken a number of steps to improve ties with Pakistan that had been marred by distrust during his predecessor Hamid Karzai’s tenure.
However, President Ghani’s critical remarks against Pakistan after last week’s high-profile terrorist attacks in Kabul and series of allegations by Afghan intelligence agency NDS suggested that the bonhomie had been lost.
The envoy said Ghani, notwithstanding his outburst, remains committed to continuing with his project for improving relations with Islamabad as well as resuming the reconciliation talks.
The Afghan president, he said, was trying to develop unanimity within his National Unity Government on the process for improving ties with Pakistan.
Amb Mellibin explained that though the truck bomb attack in Kabul was a triggering event behind Ghani’s media statement against Pakistan, he was already under pressure in Kabul over his overtures to Pakistan while Taliban violence continued unabated.
Encouraging the two countries to carry on with their rapprochement, he warned that any break in the process could be exploited by non-state actors to aggravate the situation.
He said Pakistan’s role in the reconciliation process would remain important, if it were to continue.
He said Pakistan could help by continuing its good offices and putting pressure and inspiring Taliban to continue their peace talks with the Afghan government. He urged Islamabad to take steps to strengthen forces that favoured improvement in bilateral ties as well as reconciliation process.
Amb Mellibin earlier called on Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.