Afghan peace negotiations to resume in a month, believes Aziz
Pakistan’s foreign policy advisor Sartaj Aziz held out the assurance during a joint news conference with Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Syed Hussain Alemi Balkhi in Islamabad.
As militant-linked violence escalates in his country, Balkhi claimed winning a pledge from Islamabad to work all it could to get the peace process back on track in about a month.
Pakistan, which says it has only limited influence over the Taliban leaders living on its soil, was expected to host Afghan reconciliation talks in early March.However, the rebel group’s refusal to attend dashed all hopes.
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told Pajhwok Afghan New that at talks between the two sides, Pakistan once again “emphasised the need for effective steps to achieve this objective” of repatriating the refugees.
He said both countries stressed early and dignified repatriation of the Afghan refugees. Matters related to the repatriation of refugees and engagement with the international community came up for discussion.
Balkhi thanked Pakistan for hosting millions of refugees for more than three decades, saying the Afghan government was evolving an effective policy for their early repatriation and sustainable resettlement.
Problems facing the Afghan refugee, including police harassment, forced deportations and illegal detentions, were also discussed. Abdul Qadir Baloch, minister of state and frontier regions, said Balkhi had been assured the complaints would be addressed.
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