Shah Mahmood Qureshi
File photo of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi | Photo: @pid_gov | Twitter
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Islamabad: Pakistan has invited Taliban and Chinese leaders for talks in Islamabad to smooth the way for intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at bringing an end the 19-year war that’s ravaged Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said talks with a delegation of Taliban leaders would be held on Tuesday, to be followed by a visit by Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan, Liu Jian, to ensure a “coordinated and considered approach” toward peace. The dates for Liu’s visit have yet to be announced.

“We can’t impose our decisions,” Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad on Monday. “We acknowledge and respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty and we are trying to make progress in these engagements.” Qureshi didn’t give further details of the Taliban’s stay in Pakistan.

The visit follows the U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed on Feb. 29, which included a prisoner swap between Kabul and the Taliban in the lead up to intra-Afghan talks. Since then only partial progress has been made on a key demand by the insurgent group for a prisoner swap — up to 5,000 Taliban fighters for about 1,000 government troops.

On Aug. 9, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he would free 400 hardened Taliban prisoners “in order to remove the obstacles to the start of peace talks, stop the bloodshed and serve the common good.” Their release has not yet occurred.

A negotiating team led by Taliban deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will discuss the peace process and a relaxation on the movement of people and refugees during their visit to Pakistan, according to their spokesman Suhail Shaheen. The group will also visit other countries, he said in a Twitter message.- Bloomberg


Also read:China backs Pakistan on Kashmir, opposes unilateral action by India, says resolve dispute peacefully


 

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3 Comments Share Your Views

3 COMMENTS

  1. Peace in Afghanistan is possible only and only if Pakistan stays away from it. The crux of the matter is Pakistan does not want peace in Afghanistan. On one hand it recognises the govt of Afghanistan and on the other it supports, finance and arms Taliban.
    Now inviting Chinese is making things complex and nothing else.
    It is unfortunate that Pakistan has undertaken suicidal path but does not wish to die alone.

  2. If you look from Afghanistan perspective these maskins do not have any stakes there.

    If any talks it should be between Taliban and afghan government.

    These maskins are a failed and bankrupt nation and have nothing to offer to Afghanistan in nation building except terror and violence.

    If Taliban continues to get leveraged by these maskins then sorry Afghanistan will never stand again on its feet.

    The economic clout can only be provided by us, eu, China or India but not these maskins, which is what is required to make Afghanistan pre 79 status.

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