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Pakistan warn Taliban of consequences if not show flexibility in peace talks

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Pakistan started new efforts to convince the Taliban for rejoining the peace process otherwise the Taliban may face some tough actions from Pakistan.

Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist in his new article inscribed that top Pakistani security officials have approached Afghan Taliban leadership in Doha and made it very clear to them that their refusal to participate in Istanbul Conference was a big blow to the Afghan Peace Process and if they will not show some flexibility they will face consequences.

A United States backed Afghan Peace conference set to be hosted in Istanbul by Turkey, Qatar and United Nations on April 24 was postponed over the non-participation of the Taliban. This conference was meant to fast track the peace process but new administration in Washington changed the withdrawal date of US troops from May 1 to September 11 2021. The Taliban rejected this new date and declared it violation of the peace agreement signed with Trump Administration. They refused to participate in Istanbul conference.

Last week foreign ministers of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Istanbul and they called on the Taliban to reaffirm their commitment to achieving a negotiated settlement for lasting peace in Afghanistan. According to the writer, it is learnt that a top Pakistani security official will meet Taliban leaders in Doha on April 28 (yesterday) and will deliver an “enough is enough” message to them in very clear words.

Pakistan and some other international stakeholders in Afghan peace process were trying to convince the Taliban to agree for joining an interim coalition government but they were reluctant to agree.

Mr. Mir added that Pakistani security agencies found some links between Afghan Taliban and groups related to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Quoting a top source he wrote “they are two faces of a same coin” but Afghan Taliban denied this allegation. They said it is not the first time that we may face heat from the security agencies.

Senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested by Pakistani agencies and he was released in 2018. It was Mullah Baradar who led peace talks with the US in Doha. Two senior Taliban leaders Mullah Ubaidullah Akhund (former Afghan defense minister) and Ustad Yasir died in the custody of Pakistani security agencies between 2010 and 2012.

The Taliban made it very clear that they not only want withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan but they also want removal of their names from UN terrorist list and release of prisoners. Their inflexibility is no more acceptable to Pakistani officials who are dealing with the Taliban since long, the writer added.

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