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Outcome of Afghan talks seen as key to region’s future

Outcome of Afghan talks seen as key to region’s future

Mar 09, 2019 - 10:55

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The outcome of ongoing peace talks in Afghanistaninfo-icon will go a long way in shaping the region’s future, progress and prosperity, say defence analysts.

Former corps commander Gen. Asif Yasin Malik said there had been no peace in Afghanistan for decades except during ex-king Zahir Shah’s rule.

Speaking at a seminar in Islamabad, the retired general said the Talibaninfo-icon being a resilient movement had succeeded in bringing the US to the negotiating table.

Lt Gen (R) Ishfaq Nadeem told the audience the real challenge in Afghanistan would be ensuring the implementation of any peace agreement.

The US would have to give the Taliban, controlling large swathes of Afghanistan, major concessions to bring peace to the region.

Analyst Ahmed Rashid said Afghans were shifting their trade through the Chabahar port in Iran. Kabulinfo-icon-Islamabad trade had dwindled from $5 billion to $2.5 billion and touched the lowest ebb of $1.5 billion last year. “We have lost a captive market.”

Journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai believed Afghan peace talks would continue despite some hiccups. Taliban’s key demand had been withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, he said.

“Now efforts are underway to convince Taliban into avoiding the spring offense as a confidence-building measure to make the peace process a success,” he remarked.

Former minister of commerce Humayun Akhtar Khan said peace in Afghanistan held great promise for regional prosperity. Pakistaninfo-icon would benefit from trade and transit networks and energy corridors, he added.

Former chief of general staff Ishfaq Nadeem said peace was possible in Afghanistan if the US-Taliban negotiations ended on a successful note.



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