Pakistan seeks 'credible' Afghan peace initiative

ISLAMABAD: As the security situation in Afghanistan is fast deteriorating with the new wave of violence, Islamabad wants Kabul to come up with a ‘credible and inclusive peace plan’ to end perpetual instability in its neighbouring country.

For this purpose, Pakistan is pinning hopes on the Afghan leadership to announce a comprehensive peace plan during the crucial regional conference scheduled to take place in Kabul next month.

The key meeting to be attended by Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, as well as other regional and international players, is taking place under the banner of ‘Kabul process that the Afghanistan government initiated in June last year.

Pakistan, Iran urge ‘credible’ Afghan peace process

The purpose of the initiative is to build a regional and international consensus on how to bring an end to the lingering conflict in Afghanistan. It also seeks Afghanistan to be on the driving seat for any peace talks with the Afghan Taliban and other insurgent groups.

A senior Foreign Office official, while confirming Pakistan’s participation, said: “Islamabad hopes that the Kabul process would lead to tangible outcome.”

“The Afghanistan leadership needs to come up with a plan that offers incentive to all the insurgents to come to the negotiating table,” the official stressed.

Pakistan has maintained that the only viable solution to the Afghanistan conflict lies in a politically negotiated, Afghan-owned and Afghan led peace process.

Pakistan’s role critical for Afghan peace, says US envoy

“The military approach has been tried for over sixteen years and has failed to render the desired results. It has only increased the sufferings of the Afghan people and enhanced their resentment against the foreign forces on their land,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said during the last weekly briefing.

The peace deal signed between the Afghan government and Hizb-e-Islami could serve as a model for future talks with other insurgent groups, including the Taliban, he added.

He went on to say that it was essential that the Afghan leadership should come up with a credible and inclusive peace plan so that all Afghan stakeholders were incentivized to promote peace.

But the sudden spike in violence in Afghanistan means that there are little chances of any major peace initiative taking shape in the near future.

Pakistan crucial for peace in Afghanistan: Qadri

Reacting to the ambulance attack that killed over 100 people in Kabul, President Donald Trump has called for decisive action against the Afghan Taliban.

The insurgents have stepped up their violent campaign at a time when Pakistan’s relationship with both Afghanistan and the United States are at the lowest point.

The recent terrorist attacks are likely to further flare up tensions, as Afghan officials have publicly pointed the finger at Pakistan.

It is expected that a high-level delegation from Islamabad may visit Kabul ahead of the next month’s moot on Afghanistan. The purpose of the likely visit is to first sort out differences between the two countries.

Officials in Islamabad said Kabul was not forthcoming to some of recent proposals mooted by Pakistan, seeking not only de-escalation in tensions but also a way forward for future cooperation between the two estranged neighbours.

Pakistan is particularly upset over Afghanistan’s lukewarm response to its suggestion of establishing different working groups to improve cooperation.

The proposal, if it is implemented in right earnest, can significantly reduce trust deficit as well as improve political, security and economic cooperation between the two countries, said the official.

Development comes during a meeting between UK High Commissioner Thomas Drew and NSA Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua

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