Pakistan denounces all forms of violence in Afghanistan
“We were shocked when some in Afghanistan chose to lay the blame for escalating violence on Pakistan,” Pakistan Ambassador to UN Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said during a briefing on Afghanistan.
Their efforts to encourage the Taliban leaders to revive dialogue should not be misconstrued as any form of endorsement for their revived violencefollowing the scuttling of the intra-Afghan talks, she warned.
There were vast uncontrolled areas in Afghanistan from where such violence emanated against both Afghan targets and Pakistan, she claimed.
“Pakistan has refrained from responding to allegations made by certain Afghans quarters. On the contrary, Pakistan's prime minister dispatched his national security adviser to Kabul on Sept 5 to reaffirm Pakistan's desire to assist Afghanistan's reconciliation process,” Lodhi said.
It was at the request of President Ashraf Ghani that Pakistan undertook to facilitate a dialogue between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban, the envoy added. Islamabad’s sole aim is to establish direct contact between Taliban and the unity government.
“The first round of intra-Afghan talks was hosted in Murree on 7 July. Representatives of China and the US observed these talks. The objective was ensuring transparency and impartiality.
“The outcome of this round was encouraging. Both the Afghan government and representatives of the Taliban agreed to continue the dialogue. A specific date - 31 July - was set for the second round of the talks,” she said.
A few days before that date, certain developments took place whose consequence was predictable. These developments led to the rupture of what could have been a promising peace process. The Afghan Taliban were unable to return to the table, she continued.
Lodhi said Pakistan condemned all terrorist violence in Afghanistan. There could be no justification for attacks, which killed innocent children, women and men, she noted.
In Afghanistan, as elsewhere, there were two possible paths to ending the war and violence, a military victory over the insurgents, or a negotiated peace, she explained.
“There is a general consensus within the international community that peace can be best restored through a negotiated solution with the Afghan insurgency,” she concluded.
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