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Pakistan accused of covertly stymying peace talks

AT News

KABUL: Political analysts accuse Pakistan of hindering peace negotiations between the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban negotiators.

The analysts said Saturday that Khalilzad’s frequent trips to Islamabad show that his negotiations with Taliban face an impasse.

Khalilzad went to Islamabad on Friday to discuss Taliban negotiations in meetings with Pakistani officials.Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Khalilzad met with minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and shared his talks with Taliban. The ministry added that peace deal between Khalilzad and Taliban would pave the ground for intra-Afghan negotiations.
Lawmaker Ghulam Farooq Majroh, said Khalilzad’s repetitive meetings with Pakistani officials illustrates an impasse in the talks, adding that Pakistan as the main supporter of Taliban and main element of Afghan crisis, doesn’t want to help the process.
“Khalilzad knows this fact that Pakistan will not allow Taliban sign peace deal with him until it sees its interests ensured,” said Majroh.
Khalilzad came to Kabul after Pakistan to meet Afghan officials on the recent progresses of meetings with Taliban.
The two sides were said earlier to have got closed to finalize peace deal.
Majroh believes that President Ghani’s statement on supporting Pashtoon Tahfuz Movement, hurt peace process.
He said that Afghanistan’s support of Pashtoons in Pakistan is seen as an alarm by Islamabad who doesn’t let Afghans gain peace unless it comes under increasing pressures from the United States.
A US official said lately that close relations between Taliban and Pakistani government and army should be openly admitted.
The official acknowledged that some people in Pakistan’s security organs want to continue support of extremist groups in Afghanistan.
According to the official, the possible deal between the US and Taliban would be only on the paper and the militants would not be able to meet Washington’s demands in fight against terrorism.

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