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Kabul Urges Islamabad to Press Taliban ‘Reduce Violence’

Surge in targeted killings and relentless violence across Afghanistan is a new challenge on the path to peace, Foreign Ministry says

AT News

KABUL: The foreign ministry has called on Pakistan to push the Taliban to fulfill its commitments of reduction in violence and cut ties with the “terrorist groups” in the region.

The ministry cited the remarks in reaction to the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who urged the US new administration to stick to the Afghan peace process and withdrawal of American soldiers from Afghanistan.

“I think they [Biden administration] should realize there is an opportunity in Afghanistan and they should persevere with what was initiated and not reverse things,” the Al-Jazeera quoted Qureshi as saying, “push them forward, because, after a long time, we have started moving in the right direction.”

His remarks faced widespread reaction in Afghanistan. The foreign ministry in a statement said that regional and international consensus was essential for a sustainable peace in the country.

The surge in targeted killings and relentless violence across the country, the ministry said, “is a new challenge on the path to peace.”

The Afghan government emphasized that Pakistan could play a crucial role in the Afghan peace process as the country holds full influence on the Taliban.

After more than 10 rounds of negotiations, the US and Taliban signed a peace deal last February in Qatari capital of Doha. The deal that also laid out the drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan included the release of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners which was followed by the intra-Afghan negotiations.

However, there has been no progress in the negotiations between the Afghan and Taliban teams; the US has reduced the number of its troops in the country.

“Unfortunately, when they (Taliban) came for the second round of the talks, we couldn’t discuss the unification of the agendas or at least exchange views on their and our priorities,” said, Ataullah Lodin, a member of the government negotiating team.

The US Secretary of State nominee, Antony Blinken said that Washington would review its deal with the Taliban. He said that if the deal didn’t persevere the achievement of the past two decades, it would not conclude any result.   

The new administration sought the end of war, withdrawal of its troops and as well as prevention of the country from turning into a state for terrorisms.

But the Taliban said earlier that it would restart attacking the American forces if the US didn’t remain committed to troops withdrawal.

The militants are not only reluctant to reduce violence but even engaged into new tactics of killings of high-profile figures and media professionals.

The US President Joe Biden is yet to announce his policy regarding Afghanistan but sources close to him said that the US would review the deal and see if the militant fulfilled its peace commitments.

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