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Pakistan says Iran’s general murder may hit Afghan peace process

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has cautioned that escalating tensions in the Middle East following the killing of Iran’s Al-Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani could hit the already fragile reconciliation process in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“The crisis will have a negative impact on Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s efforts in this regard could be undone,” said Qureshi while delivering a policy statement during the Senate session in Islamabad.

“Some elements, who have long been awaiting for this [kind of] moment, may take advantage and try to derail the Afghan peace process,” he further said without naming any individual, group or the country.

Reaffirming that Pakistan would not let its soiled to be used against any other country, the foreign minister said Islamabad is walking a tight rope to maintain its neutral role.

“On the one hand, we have historical and brotherly relations with Iran, while on the other, our millions of people are working in the Gulf states. We have to be very careful. We have to maintain a balance to protect our own interests.”

Based on some reports, Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation is back in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, to resume the stalled peace talks with the Taliban negotiating members, following the Washington’s demand for a short time ceasefire and reduction of violence in Afghanistan.

The talks has yet to start officially as according to some sources, Khalilzad awaits the Taliban’s response regarding the US call and precondition of a short-time ceasefire and violence reduction.

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