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Editorial: Pakistan towards Afghanistan

 Amidst intensifying peace effort on the part of Ambassador Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and preparation for handling conditions of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistani officials are making attempt to exonerate their responsibilities by making decades old stereo-type promises and assurances regarding resolution to long standing Afghan conflict. Couple of days back while leaving for China, its Prime Minister Imran Khan has not only assured whole hearted support to US efforts for Intra-Afghan dialogues but he had also denounced the Taliban leaders summer/spring offensive against the Afghan government and people. Similar statements are considered order of the day from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Foreign Office as well. But the ground reality is different. A day before, the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad visited Islamabad from April 29 to 30 and held discussions with Pakistani leadership on developments in the Afghan peace process. Ambassador Khalilzad met Pakistani officials, including its Chief of Army Staff Bajwa and senior military officials. But on the same day in according to foreign office statement, meeting between Khalilzad and Pakistani officials was focused on visa issuance and there was nothing in the statement regarding Afghanistan, which was the main aim of Khalilzad efforts and visits. According to US Embassy statement, ambassador Khalilzad expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Khan’s recent remarks in support of the peace process and broader vision for stability and prosperity in the region. Ambassador Khalilzad requested and received support for the need to accelerate intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations as well as a reduction in violence, concrete steps necessary for a comprehensive settlement. Khalilzad reiterated that an end to the war will bring long overdue peace and stability for Afghans and an independent Afghanistan that precludes it from being used by terrorists to attack the United States or any other country. In addition, peace holds particular significance for the region by facilitating regional economic integration. Similarly, the ISPR Director General in his briefing to media has made an attempt to attribute almost of Pakistan’s internal problems, especially growing resentment of Pakhtoons against state-policies to what he claimed “links between a Pakhtoon organization and Afghanistan.” Even the spokesman has accused Kabul of extending financial support to the group, whom members and leaders are demanding making free the forced picked up/detained persons, revival of negative attitude towards Pakhtoons and an end to state patronization of militant groups. Whatever might be accusation against Afghanistan and its government but one thing is very clear that the government of Afghanistan has been remained neutral and has never attempts to interfere in other country’s internal affairs. Such statement is not in the interest of Pakistan. Afghan masses have been made fed up by wars, violence and terror and they praying for peace and reconciliation and want peace not only for Afghanistan but for the region. Instead of killing the time, Pakistan needs to realize importance’s of peace in Afghanistan, which is possible with its sincere support within days. Now when the US special envoy has made it clear that US wants to evacuate all of its troops but with assurances of an end to terror and violent acts in Afghanistan. And Pakistan needs to respond positively and adopt sincere and practical steps, which is also in its benefit.

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