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Peace talks the way forward in Afghanistan: Pakistan

Peace talks the way forward in Afghanistan: Pakistan

Mar 30, 2017 - 09:45

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): A US-based Pakistani diplomat, accusing the Ashraf Ghani administration of adopting a hostile approach to Islamabad, on Wednesday said blaming Pakistaninfo-icon for all the ills in Afghanistaninfo-icon was unlikely to bring peace and stability to the region.

A resolution to the Afghan problem lies in reconciliation and not in a military solution, Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry told a Washington audience, as he proposed a five-point solution to the Afghanistan conundrum.

He proposed talks between the two governments, resumption of the reconciliation process and an effective border management. “We believe there is no military solution. We have to have a track which is political in nature and brings all stakeholders together…”

In his address to the US Institute of Peace, a Washington DC-based think-tank that is primarily funded by the Congress, the ambassador said: “We are waiting for the new US administration to announce the outcome of its review.”

Based on that announcement, the diplomat added, Pakistan would like to engage with the United States one of the main players. The two sides needed to work together to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan, he remarked.

Chaudhry, who landed in Washington two weeks ago, said the perception prevailing in the US was lagging behind the realities in Pakistan -- a nationwide consensus against terrorism.

“We are now engaged in combing out terrorists who are hiding in urban centres,” the ambassador said, noting all this had had an impact on the economy of Pakistan, which was growing at a much faster pace.

Chaudhry said there was a full consensus in Pakistan that peace in Afghanistan was an absolute imperative and instability flowed into  it from across the border.

About a recent interview of President Ashraf Ghani, Chaudhry said the current security situation was not good in Afghanistan. Sixty percent of territory is under Afghan Government, 10 percent under the Talibaninfo-icon and 30 percent contested. “We are talking about a huge ungoverned space. That can be a magnet of terrorism in the worldinfo-icon.”

He believed there had to be a determined effort from Afghanistan also on the issue of border management. Border protection was a common responsibility, he observed, lamenting there had been no corresponding action from the Afghan government.

“The present (Afghan) government has chosen to have a considerably hostile approach against Pakistan. We believe hostile rhetoric is not an answer. This is an oversimplification of problems in Afghanistan,” he said, adding Pakistan treated Afghanistan as a sovereign country.


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