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Increase in violence hurting peace bid: Abdullah

Increase in violence hurting peace bid: Abdullah

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Sep 28, 2020 - 18:19

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon’s High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) chairman Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Monday said the intra-Afghan talks were going slow and the increase in violence was hurting peace efforts.

Abdullah earlier arrived in Islamabad on a three-day visit for talks with Pakistani leaders. Soon after flying into Pakistaninfo-icon’s capital, he visited the Foreign Office, where he was welcomed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He also planted a sapling on the premises.

Before leaving Kabul, Abdullah tweeted: “The visit will provide a unique opportunity for the two sides to exchange views on Afghan peace talks in Doha and bilateral relations.”

Dr. Abdullah also met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation.

During his meeting with Qureshi, Dr. Abdullah thanked Pakistan for inviting and hosting him.

Referring to his last visit to Islamabad in the Joint Regional Jirgainfo-icon in 2008, he said relations between the two countries had many ups and downs and now they had come to Islamabad with a different spirit.

He welcomed the Pakistani prime minister’s support for reducing violence and truce in Afghanistan, saying the crisis would escalate if the historic opportunity was not seized.

He stressed that the majority of the Afghan people wanted peace and an end to the war and Afghanistan has changed over the years and its national achievements needed to be protected.

He also praised Pakistan for encouraging the Talibaninfo-icon to take part in peace talks, but said the peace talks were slow and “unfortunately the level of violence has increased and is hurting peace efforts.”

He added that terrorism was a common threat to all countries in the region and that ensuring lasting and just peace in Afghanistan was in the interest of all countries in the region and neighboring countries.

Appreciating Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees, Abdullah said they were in favor of strengthening relations between the two nations at various levels, especially in areas of economy, transit and facilitating export and import of goods.

For his part, Qureshi said Pakistan backed a peaceful and durable political solution of Afghanistan's conflict through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Radio Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying that Pakistan had been playing the role of a facilitator in the process "as a shared responsibility".

The foreign minister said the US-Taliban agreement and later the intra-Afghan dialogue held in Doha had raised the prospects of long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.

He said the Afghan leadership should seize this "historic opportunity" and undertake serious efforts to take the peace process to its conclusion.

Qureshi said an eye should also be kept on "the spoilers who do not want peace and stability in the region", adding that the international community will have to come forward for the reconstructioninfo-icon and economic stability of Afghanistan.

"Pakistan desires dignified return of millions of Afghan refugees to their homeland," the minister said.

He said Pakistan respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan and wanted to develop strong economic cooperation with the neighbouring country.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Qureshi said Pakistan had always maintained that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, which could be ended only through a political settlement.

"We have fulfilled our responsibility, now you have to go forward and play your part and I hope that you will be successful," he told the Afghan leadership. "Whatever we can do to facilitate we have done and will do it."

Abdullah is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising prominent members of the council.

According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser during the trip.

In a tweet shortly after arriving, Abdullah said that he will meet the Pakistani leadership and "exchange views on Afghanistan peace and bilateral relations".

During his visit, Abdullah, will also speak at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and will also meet journalists.

pk/ma

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