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Editorial: Cancellation of Islamabad talks

The opposition Taliban leaders based in Doha Qatar late on Sunday night announced cancellation of landing at Islamabad for holding talks with Saudi Arab Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Taliban leaders while announcing cancellation of visit and talks at Islamabad, stated that all those invited are on the list of wanted people to US and UN, therefore, they couldn’t travel. Pakistan has formally extended invitation to Taliban leaders to meet and talk with Premier Imran Khan. Earlier the Saudi Prince has a schedule of visiting Islamabad on 16th and 17th. But later on the schedule was revised in a bid to host a meeting between Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and Taliban leaders. Earlier Taliban have refused to fly from Doha into Riyadh for attending the Saudi Arab hosted peace talks on January 13, 2019 in according to an understanding made in Abu Dhabi. Similarly during that period, the Taliban have also turned to a deaf ear Pakistan’s invitation to reach in Islamabad and meet US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad. However, later Taliban delegates flown into Moscow whereas they held first ever get together with those Afghan leaders including former President Hamid Karzai who are not part of President Ghani lead unity government. Outcomes of Moscow talks remain too much satisfactory and a matter of joy for the war stricken Afghans which made uncertain some circles within neighboring and regional countries, considering return of peace and stability in Afghanistan harmful to its interests. Whatever might be justification of Taliban leaders for cancellation of Islamabad trip but no one can deny presence of several top persons including co-founder of Tehrik Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan. Most recently, founder of Haqqani network Maulvi Jalalud Din Haqqani and late Pakistan’s politico religious leader Maulvi Samiul Haq’s funerals have been attended by dozens of top leaders and commanders. Those invited to Islamabad were no other than members of Quetta and Peshawar Shura’s. However, now when the US brokered peace talks are entered into its concluding phase, certain elements are bent upon its failure like of UN Peace Plan in 1992 and Islamabad and Saudi Arab peace talks of 1993-94. Get together of fellow Afghan politicians including mostly former Jihadi and Taliban leaders was a major breakthrough. Now it was confirmed that overwhelming majority of war affected Afghans are in favor of peace, reconciliation and re-unionning. They have been made fed up by prolonged imposed wars on their soil. Going ahead with the Moscow talks all peace loving and patriotic Afghans needs to remain too much careful at this crucial stage. They needs to support and facilitate each others just for making fruitful and successful the peace talks, which could be considered most essential for pulling Afghanistan and its people out of prolonged era of violence, bloodshed, destruction and hostilities.

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