Rabbani calls for early resumption of peace parleys
“I take this opportunity and call on all Taliban groups to accept our call for peace through dialogue,” Rabbani said, while opening the second meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.
Rabbani warned further delay on the part of the Taliban to resume talks with the government would deepen the insurgent group’s isolation and alienation from the Afghan people.
He said those refusing to join the reconciliation process would signal their aversion to a sovereign, stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan, besides proving their reliance on terror and destruction.
Representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US are attending the meeting that will draw up a roadmap, dates and venue for the peace negotiations.
During the first four-way talks in Islamabad on January 11, the participants had reiterated their commitment to realising the objectives identified in talks on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference.
With support from the US and China, Rabbani hoped, Afghanistan would be able to launch an effective peace process that would generate the desired results in a timely manner.
Lasting peace required patience but it was important to keep in mind the Afghans would not accept an open-ended process without tangible results, the minister said, stressing the need for urgency.
“An effective roadmap may not focus so much on rigid pre-conditions but must provide redlines for strict compliance to ensure the integrity of a meaningful process,” Rabbani argued.
He supported a peaceful political settlement, which respected Afghanistan’s constitution and hard-earned gains of the past 14 years, especially the rights of Afghan women and girls.
He praised Pakistan for hosting that first meeting of the four-nation group after extensive discussions among Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US and China, as well as a meeting between President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Paris on November 30.
Rabbani said the Afghan government had been encouraged by Pakistan’s strong commitment to cooperation on a range of issues, including counter-terrorism and a result-oriented peace process.
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