Pakistan can convince Taliban for talks: Zakhilwal
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad on Thursday said Pakistan still enjoyed influence over the Afghan Taliban, but the country’s efforts to bring the rebels to the negotiating table did not produce satisfactory results.
Omar Zakhilwal told the BBC Urdu service that he was still hopeful that Pakistan would convince the Taliban to appear for peace talks with the Afghan government.
Zakhilwal said Taliban’s announcement of the launch of their spring offensive showed they had no interest in the peace process.
The Taliban this week announced the start of their summer fighting season named after the group’s founder and long-time supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
In response, senior Afghan security officials called the Taliban spring offensive as propaganda and said the government had launched “Operation Shafaq” to deal with insurgent attacks۔
The fifth meeting of the four-nation group called the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) on Afghanistan is expected to take place in Islamabad this month.
The Afghan ambassador said date for the upcoming QCG meeting had not been fixed yet. He said it seemed the Taliban were not interested in the peace talks because if they were serious about the peace process, they would have reduced violence.
About the announcement of operations against each other by the Taliban and the Afghan government, Zakhilwal said the government had said yes to the peace talks in response to people’s demand, but the Taliban had always preferred war over dialogue.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.