Tue, Oct

Afghan govt, Taliban reps to meet in a week: Aziz


Sartaj-AzizSartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security said that Afghan government and Taliban will likely meet in a week time.

With the same tone, Aziz expressed optimism an unprecedented breakthrough is expected in three months time.

He made these revelations while speaking at National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee on Monday. He informed Islamabad helped facilitated a meeting between Taliban representatives and Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) headed by Masoom Stanekzai in Urumqi, China, last month.

He went on to say that next meeting between the two party was scheduled to be held the current month.

The peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban were circulating at a time when heavily-armed insurgents mounted a botched attack on Afghan parliament on Monday. Militants attacks in parts of Afghanistan have intensified markedly, which sparked strong criticism against Pakistan by the Afghan government.

Earlier in May, Pugwash organized a two-day seminar in Qatar between Afghan officials and Taliban in Qatar. A 21-member Afghan delegation and eight members Taliban exchanged their views regarding peace and stability in Afghanistan. Gulbadin Hikmatyar led Hezb-i-Islami (HIA) also participated in the conference.

Earlier, the Taliban delegations from its Qatar office also visited Japan, France and Iran in the past. Besides attending different meetings and conferences, they also held talks with officials of these countries.

The visit of the Taliban delegation to China came shortly after the newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani paid a four-day official trip to China.

Aziz latest overtures have seen with an optimistic view by many Afghans amid hopes of greater peace and reconciliation in the country.

Almost two weeks back, Pakistan pledged strong support for embattled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, with Pakistan’s prime minister’s special assistant Tariq Fatemi has defended intelligence cooperation accord struck recently with Afghanistan.

“The MoU between the NDS and ISI is a proof of the distance we have covered,” Dawn.com quoted Fatemi as saying in his speech on foreign policy at the Institute of Strategic Studies.

Mahmood Khan Achakzai, member of the foreign affairs committee, told the meeting that steps should be taken to improve bilateral ties otherwise relations between the two countries could exacerbate.

“There is a lot of anger in Kabul. We shouldn’t be mistaken we are going in the right direction. We are losing at the political front,” he observed.

Aziz also defended intelligence cooperation between the two countries specifically in interest of Afghanistan’s security.

He said that ties between Kabul and Islamabad were moving ahead with tandem and on positive track.

Referring to the thousands kilometers long border between the two countries, he said that Standard Operating.