Time not ripe for resumption of Afghan talks: Aziz
KABUL (Pajhwok): The time is not yet ripe for Islamabad to work for the resumption of the Afghan reconciliation process, a top Pakistani diplomat says.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was quoted as telling journalists in Islamabad on Monday: “Right now I don’t think the time is opportune.”
The process of Pakistan-facilitated dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban was scuttled by the disclosure of Mullah Omar’s death in late July.
The first round of the peace talks was held in the hill resort of Murree near Islamabad. Pakistan has offered the Afghan government its help in resuming the process. But Kabul has not responded to the Pakistani suggestion.
For the revival of the peace talks, Aziz said, both sides needed to be convinced of the usefulness of the process and should create the right atmosphere for the dialogue.
According to The Express Tribune, he said: “Preconditions for a successful outcome are required, and that requires consensus on both sides. The Afghanistan government is one of the sides and the Taliban are the other...”
Reconciliation was the surest way to peace in Afghanistan, he insisted: “Obviously, anything that will reduce the level of the insurgency would be welcomed by Pakistan. Reconciliation is in our view, one of the best options.”
The advisor said the Afghan government and Taliban had to decide when meaningful discussions could take place -- a time where Pakistan’s role will come into play. “Right now I don’t think the time is opportune.”
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