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Ghani’s emissary sees change in Pakistan’s attitude

Ghani’s emissary sees change in Pakistan’s attitude

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Jan 10, 2019 - 10:43

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy on the reconciliation process believes Pakistaninfo-icon is nudging the Talibaninfo-icon towards talks with the Afghan government on ending the ongoing conflict.

High Peace Councilinfo-icon Secretary Omar Daudzai, who is in Pakistan amid efforts by the US and others to reach a settlement of the Afghan conflict, said this in an interview with the Arab News on Wednesday.

Last week, President Donald Trump announced plans to pull out around 5,000 military personnel from Afghanistaninfo-icon, sparking concerns at the future role the US will play in training Afghan forces.

For his part, Daudzai said the withdrawal of US troops would not have any serious impact on Afghanistan’s security. “We now have an Afghan National Security Force that is between 350,000–400,000 troops.

“If President Trump had made such an announcement in 2012, it might have caused some worries, but now we have trained security forces. The only thing we lack is air power,” added Daudzai.

The Afghan government was in indirect contact with the Taliban, Daudzai said, adding he felt prospects for peace in his country were brighter than ever before.

Optimistic of a breakthrough in talks this year he said: “We have declared that 2019 should be the year of peace in Afghanistan. Within 2019, hopefully, we will reach a final peace deal.”

In a separate interview with the BBC, Daudzai noted the Pakistan government and security establishment were on the same page on its policy towards Afghanistan.

The unanimity of views would provide a suitable environmentinfo-icon for Afghan-Pakistan talks on key issues, according to Ghani’s emissary, who acknowledged a change in Pakistan’s attitude in the context of current circumstances.

“I don’t want to get into the past, but in the present, there is much evidence that Pakistan is playing a positive role in Afghan peace talks,” Daudzai remarked.

Asked why the Taliban refused holding talks with the Afghan government, Daudzai replied it was a longstanding desire of the rebel group to negotiate with the US before talking to Kabul.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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