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Pakistan always preferred Afghan politicians over govt: Experts

13 Jan 2021 - 17:39
13 Jan 2021 - 17:39

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of political analysts say Pakistan always preferred keeping its relations with Afghan political parties instead of the Afghan government.

The political affairs experts made the statements following a trip of Karim Khalili, head of Hizb-i-Wahdat Islami party and former head of High Peace Council, to Pakistan.

Khaili is on an official visit to Islamabad where he met Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmod Quraishi, Army Chief Gen. Javed Qamar Bajwa and the country’s parliament chairman, Asad Qaisar.

According to reports, both sides have talked about bilateral relations and the Afghan peace process.

Zardasht Shams, a former Afghan diplomat in Pakistan and a political analyst, said that it seemed the Afghan government had completely lost its power.

He believed in these formal meetings, the Afghan ambassador or a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to be present, but there was none of them during Khalili’s visit to Pakistan.

He said formal meetings with officials of a foreign country were organized only with government officials.

“The government cannot convince Khalili to have the company of Afghan envoy neither can it stop Pakistan from organizing such meetings with Afghan politicians,” he added.

Khalili was a politician and there was no need for him to visit Pakistan military headquarters and meet with Gen. Bajwa, Shams said.

He said Pakistan wanted to have special meetings with ethnic groups, individual meetings with Hazara and Tajik leaders as the country has already influence on Pashtuns through Taliban.

Sayed Shah Saqim, another political affairs expert, said it was Pakistan’s policy since decades to keep relations with different Afghan parties instead of government.

He said Pakistani officials sometimes invited Afghan politicians and accorded them great protocols.

Khalili’s trip is part of a series of Afghan politicians’ recent visits to Pakistan, he said while referring to Hekmatyar, Taliban representatives and some other Afghan politicians’ visits to Islamabad.

“One thing is important here, it is all about an interim government in Afghanistan. I was informed that a few days ago a number of politicians were invited to Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf’s house to discuss the interim government which was proposed by Zalmay Khalilzad,” he said.

He said before the meeting at Sayyaf’s residence, Mohammad Mohaqiq advised Khalili not to join it and told him that a provisional government was not in their interest. Mohaqiq told Khalili that the current system under Ashraf Ghani should continue until the next election, Saqim said.

“Khalili agrees with Mohaqiq and the president the next day appointed Mohaqiq as senior advisor as an appreciation,” he added.

“I believe Pakistan also encouraged Khalili for an interim government and held out some promises,” he said.

Mds/ma

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