Pak welcomes 2nd round of intra-Afghan Negotiations in Qatar

Sajjad Hussain
·2-min read

Islamabad, Jan 6 (PTI) Pakistan on Wednesday welcomed the commencement of the second round of intra-Afghan Negotiations in Doha.

The Afghan government and the Taliban representatives in December last year said they had reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks, their first written agreement in 19 years of war.

Special US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is travelling to Qatar as part of peace efforts in war-torn Afghanistan.

In Doha, Khalilzad will meet with two Afghan teams, encourage them, and offer US support to accelerate the peace process - an immediate, significant reduction in violence and ceasefire and an agreement on a political roadmap and power-sharing as soon as possible.

The two teams have made significant progress by finalising the rules and procedures last month and have now reconvened to negotiate on substantive issues, the Foreign Office said.

The year 2020 witnessed substantial progress towards peace in Afghanistan, with a number of positive developments including conclusion of the US-Taliban Peace Agreement on February 29, start of intra-Afghan Negotiations on September 12 and agreement on Rules and Procedures on December 2, which paved the way for meaningful progress in the peace talks, it said.

“We remain hopeful that the year 2021 will witness the dawn of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We hope that the two negotiating teams would continue to engage with open-mind and will observe patience, prudence and perseverance to seize this historic opportunity for peace,” the FO said.

Pakistan called upon both the sides to remain constructively engaged and show flexibility in the negotiations for reaching an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement which would lead to a lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

It strongly believes that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and that the only way forward is a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

The FO said that the high level of violence in Afghanistan resulting in loss of precious Afghan lives remains a matter of concern.

“We are hopeful that the two sides will prioritise working out a road-map for reduction in violence and ceasefire in the negotiations,” it said. PTI SH CPS