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Afghan peace push at defining junction: Qureshi

31 Mar 2021 - 08:33
31 Mar 2021 - 08:33

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Afghan peace process is at a defining junction and Afghanistan has never been so close to turning the tide, Pakistan believes.

“As we gather here today, the Afghan peace process stands at a defining junction,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told participants of the Heart of Asia Conference in Dushanbe on Tuesday.

Having gone through four decades of conflict and instability, the foreign minister noted, Afghanistan had never been so close to turning the tide.

The minister called the launch of peace talks between the Afghan parties facilitated by Pakistan — in Doha in September a milestone.

The first direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the militant movement began after the US-Taliban peace agreement that was signed in February 2020.

Qureshi told the delegates in Dushanbe: “The progress made, thus far has indeed created a historic opportunity for the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive negotiated political settlement.”

He added the world had acknowledged that there was no military solution in Afghanistan. This approach was needed to continue guiding the Afghan parties and the global fraternity.

Pakistan had consistently urged Afghan leaders to remain constructively engaged for securing a positive outcome, Qureshi said.

His country had told all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to take the peace process forward in good faith, the foreign minister insisted.

“When the Doha agreement was signed last year we called it a moment of hope. It must be our collective endeavour to ensure this hope is not dissipated that this rare opportunity is not lost,” he remarked.

In addition to facilitating the peace process, Pakistan had extended all possible support to Afghanistan, the top diplomat claimed.

For Pakistan, Qureshi maintained, Afghanistan was an important neighbour and a brotherly country with strong historical links.



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