Speaking of the meeting held with a delegation of the Afghan Taliban a day ago, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday that all parties agreed that a ‘political solution’ reached through dialogue was the only way to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Referring to the meeting as ‘fruitful’, the foreign minister said if peace in Afghanistan was to be established by force, 41 years were no less for that to happen.
Qureshi said the United States, Russia, China and other important countries in the region are supporting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s view on the peace process. He said the meeting discussed the implementation of the peace agreement reached in Doha in February.
The Afghan delegation apprised Qureshi of the difficulties faced in implementing the Doha peace agreement.
The foreign minister said the convening of the Loya Jirga is a positive development in this regard. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Afghanistan’s Chairman High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and invited him to visit Pakistan.
“Pakistan is trying to move the intra-Afghan dialogue forward as soon as possible,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Afghan leaders must seize “this historic opportunity to achieve an inclusive political settlement contributing to durable peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan”.
The premier remarked while highlighting Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process during a telephonic conversation with Afghanistan’s Chairman High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday.
The development comes a day after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a meeting with the visiting Taliban Political Commission (TPC) delegation, headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the Foreign Office. The head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was also present in the meeting.
The visit of the Taliban delegation comes against the backdrop of efforts for early commencement of intra-Afghan dialogue – a crucial phase of the peace process. According to a handout issued by the FO, views were exchanged on the current status of the Afghan peace process and the way forward during the meeting.