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Thu, Mar

Kabul awaits practical steps to initiate peace talks

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MoFA-spoksman-Shakeeb-MustaghniThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Tuesday said “beneficial talks” had taken place with Pakistan on the peace process and the time had come to take practical steps, but some government sources said Kabul had lost faith in Islamabad.

A government source told Pajhwok Afghan News three days ago that the Afghan government was currently not satisfied with Pakistan’s cooperation in the peace process and contracts with Taliban had borne no fruits.

The source said Pakistan had proposed airlifting a Taliban delegation to Kabul for peace talks, but the Afghan side insisted Pakistan should first stop supporting Taliban, something Islamabad was not ready to do. He said Islamabad was yet to promise a halt to Taliban attacks.

But MoFA spokesman Shekib Mustaghni told a press conference in Kabul that it had been insisted in talks among Afghanistan, regional and world countries that peace in Afghanistan meant peace in the region and the world.

He said all friendly countries had repeatedly voiced their support for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks. He said high level talks between Kabul and Islamabad had raised high hopes for peace.

“This is that optimism that the Afghan government is today awaiting practical steps and hopes for practical steps from Pakistan and regional countries, as a result of the Afghan government’s efforts, still persist.”

Pakistan had promised to pave the ground for direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in March this year, but no practical step has so far been taken in this regard.

“Promises made during talks held so far varied from all the past promises and the time has come for practical steps. God willing, we will be witnessing practical steps in support of Afghanistan’s efforts for peace and stability,” Mustaghni said.

On China’s role in Afghanistan peace process, he said Beijing had supported the Afghan government’s peace efforts on a high level and was assisting Kabul in this regard.

After the unity government was formed, President Ashraf Ghani travelled to Pakistan, putting relations with the neighbouring country on the mend.

After his Islamabad visit, senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials visited Kabul and assured luring Taliban to the negotiating table.