Pak army extends support to Afghan Taliban's peace talks
Pakistan military today extended its support to possible talks between Afghan Taliban and US officials in Qatar to end 13-year conflict in Afghanistan and said all stakeholders should not allow detractors of peace to succeed.
Islamabad: Pakistan military today extended its support to possible talks between Afghan Taliban and US officials in Qatar to end 13-year conflict in Afghanistan and said all stakeholders should not allow detractors of peace to succeed.
The military, in a statement, said the reconciliation between Afghan government and Taliban to bring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan always comes up during any meeting related to the war-torn country.
It said Pakistan has always supported such process, and re-emphasised it to be absolutely transparent, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.
Media reports that the Taliban representatives are to meet US officials in Qatar soon came two days after Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharif held talks with Afghan leadership in Kabul on various security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan.
"While onus for such negotiations to succeed lies on both parties concerned, Pakistan in all sincerity will support the process, as peace in Afghanistan will contribute to peace in the region," the statement said.
"We hope all stake holders will continue to act with responsibility not to allow detractors of peace to succeed," it said.
The election last year of President Ashraf Ghani, who pledged to make peace talks a priority, as well as supportive signals from Pakistan, which has influence over the Taliban, has boosted hopes for possible dialogue.
There has been improvement of ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan since Ghani took over and after the December 16 Peshawar school attack by Taliban militants in which 150 people, including 136 students were killed.
The US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan ended its combat operations at the end of 2014, but a contingent of 12,500 foreign troops has stayed on to give training and support to Afghanistan's 350,000 soldiers and police.