Aziz to urge return to talks, end to blame game
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan’s national security advisor is expected to ask Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for an immediate end to Kabul’s vitriolic smear campaign against Islamabad, an official said on Friday.
Before Sartaj Aziz’s departure for the neighbouring country, a diplomatic source told Pajhwok Afghan News the advisor would deliver a loud and clear message to the president regarding the need for the resumption of peace talks.
“A return to the blame game will help neither side, as ex-president Hamid Karzai’s policy has proved. Anti-Pakistan propagandaemanating from Kabul is sending wrong vibes to Islamabad,” remarked the official, who did not to be named.
On Tuesday, the Afghan government identified the presence of terrorist groups, particularly of the Haqqani network, on the Pakistani soil as “the main source of friction between the two neighbouring countries”.
United States National Security Advisor Susan Ricewarned Pakistani political and military leaders on Sunday recent attacks in Afghanistan by the militants based in the South Asian country threatened regional security.
Scheduled to meet Ghani as well as his Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani on the sidelines of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan-VI later in the day, Aziz will push for resumption of peace talks with the Taliban.
Bilateral relations between the neighbours have nosedived in recent weeks after Ghani accused the Pakistan security establishment of orchestrating a string of deadly attacks in Kabul. There has been a spike in Taliban attacks over the past two months.
The advisor would share ‘compelling’ evidence’with his interlocutors of Pakistani security forces dismantling the Haqqani network’s infrastructure in the tribal region near the Afghanistan border, the official added.
“Our message is pretty clear: Reconciliation is still the best way. Insistence on a military solution will have dire consequences for both nations. We want to ascertain whether Afghan leaders are willing to restart talks,” he said.
Stability in the war-battered country was directly linked to a substantive intra-Afghan dialogue, the source argued, saying Kabul would be urged to sit for the second round of negotiations with the Taliban. The first round was held in Murree two months ago.
The agreement on security and counter-terrorism cooperation between the Inter-Services Intelligence and the National Directorate of Security was a dead document, the official admitted, saying the Afghan parliament was yet to approve it.
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