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Islamabad to pave ground for intra-Afghan talks: Pakistani FM

AT-KABUL: Pakistan is to provide opportunity for a negotiation between the government of Afghanistan and Taliban militants, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

During his second trip to Kabul within 10 days and meeting Afghan officials including President Ghani, Qureshi assured Monday that his country would encourage Taliban to hold talks with Kabul.

Qureshi called the aim of his visit to Afghanistan and “three other countries” discussing peace and stability in Afghanistan, saying that he would negotiate with Iranian, Chinese and Russian officials about Afghan peace program, terrorist threats and investments in his next stops in Tehran, Beijing and Moscow.

But political analysts say that Qureshi tries to include Iran, China and Russia in the Afghan peace process to ensure his country’s interests.

Islamabad’s efforts over Afghan peace process are focused on the regional states and the United States.

Afghan foreign ministry also confirmed that senior Pakistani diplomat had vowed to persuade Taliban for talks with the government.

Peace and stability are possible when all regional powers work together in this regard and each country feel responsibility. In my tour to Afghanistan, Iran, China and Russia, I will talk with the countries’ officials on bilateral cooperation, terrorism threat, investments and peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Qureshi said.

The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad had visited Kabul ahead of Pakistani diplomat’s trip. He then visited Russian and Pakistan to talks about the peace program in Afghanistan.

Analysts believes that Islamabad wants to attract the US and regional countries’ confidence over the Afghan peace process.

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