Pakistan in a bid to refurbish its battered image: Analysts
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some political analysts believe Pakistan is in a bid to refurbish its battered international image and credibility on the Afghanistan conundrum quadrilateral meetings to resuscitate the peace talks.
The third round of the four-nation process involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China, was held on Saturday in Islamabad to prepare a roadmap to reconciliation talks between Kabul and Taliban.
On the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference last year, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US agreed on consultations on peace and stability in Afghanistan. The first two meetings took place in Islamabad and Kabul.
Peace process is not a simple that can be brought to fruiton in a matter of days, but the involvement of two powerful nations have spurred optimism about a positive outcome, political commentator Sirajul Haq Siraj told Pajhwok Afghan News.
“Afghanistan has embarked on the diplomatic and legal road to peace talks on the one hand and is military pressure on the militants on the other to make the masses optimistic regarding the results of the negotiations,” he feels.
Acceptance of the national constitution and renunciation of violence by the rebels, as well as cast-iron guarantee from Washington and Beijing of Islamabad redeeming its pledges should be preconditions for the parleys, he suggests.
“Recently Pakistan brought some changes to its foreign policy. The changes may have been induced either by its quest for political stability, national security and boosting its economy, or its growing need for gas and energy. This need can't be met without peace in Afghanistan,” he explains.
Another analyst, Mohammad Khalil Noori, refers to Kabul's repeated claims that Islamabad has been in a state of an undeclared war with it. And before entering into peace parleys with the armed opposition, Afghanistan has to talk to Pakistan on why it is aiding a particular party to the war.
No roadmap to peace talks can be effective until the US and China seriously push Pakistan to walk the talk on cooperation with the peace process, he maintains.
“The government should not let Pakistan keep Afghanistan busy pursuing the peace talks and siultaneously supporting the Taliban to get prepared for the spring offensive,” he continues.
But Javed Faisal, deputy spokesman for the chief executive officer (CEO), says the Afghan government has already talked to Pakistan and is currently focused on talks with the militants on ending the conflict.
“On the basis of the new peace mechanism, it will become clear which rebel factions are willing for talks, where and on what terms,” he says of the strategy adopted at the Feb. 6 meeting in Islamabad.
The government is waiting for a positive result from the quadrilateral meetings in terms of Pakistan's honesty in the process and it serious cooperation with the renewed push to make the talks result-oriented.
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