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Islamabad launches fresh push to revive Afghan talks

Islamabad launches fresh push to revive Afghan talks

Dec 02, 2015 - 10:16

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Islamabad is making a renewed four-way push for the revival of the Afghan reconciliation process, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday.

The fresh effort for the resumption of peace talks between Talibaninfo-icon and Afghan government representatives is being made in collaboration with Washington and Beijing and Kabulinfo-icon.

A statement from the Foreign Office quoted the prime minister as saying: “Pakistaninfo-icon... would like to make renewed efforts to resurrect the peace and reconciliation process.”

Sharif hoped the Afghan government and the Taliban would step forward with concrete ideas and proposals and engage in a meaningful dialogue on reconciliation

While calling for a quadrilateral bid to restart the reconciliation process, the premier said: “Pakistan is prepared to extend its full support for promoting any such initiative.”

He emphasised the role of the US and China as vital partners, saying Pakistan had been working with the international community for the resumption of the dialogue that was stalled after the disclosure of Mullahinfo-icon Omar’s death in July.

President Ashraf Ghani is expected to visit Islamabad on December 9 for participation the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting being jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistaninfo-icon.

During the visit of Ghani, who met Sharif on the sidelines of the Climate Change Summit in Paris two days back, a common roadmap for the resumption of the dialogue could be finalised.

Last month, the Obama administration and Pakistan to step up efforts for reviving the reconciliation process. The agreement came during Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif’s visit to Washington.

A delegation of Pakhtun leaders, led by ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, visited Kabul last week to convince Ghani into meeting Sharif in France -- an icebreaking contact between the two sides in months.

The neighbours have reportedly agreed on denying sanctuaries to terrorists, improving border coordination and coordinating closely at the political, diplomatic, military and intelligence levels.

Gen Sharif is expected to visit Kabul in the next few weeks to discuss the reconciliation drive. Dates for the trip, which will obviously take place after the Dec 9 trip of Ghani, are being firmed up.

Sharif, whose country brokered the first-ever direct talks between Kabul and Taliban in Murree in the first week of July, floated the new dialogue proposal during his meeting with the Ghani in Paris.

“Pakistan does not believe in any blame game, and instead would like to make renewed efforts to resurrect the peace and reconciliation process,” the statement concluded.


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