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Pakistan asks the Taliban ‘continue to participate’ in the Afghan peace process | News about the Taliban

Islamabad urged the Taliban to continue participating after the group vowed to avoid summits on Afghanistan until all foreign forces left.

Pakistan has urged the Taliban to continue participating in the Afghan peace process after the armed group said it would avoid summits on Afghanistan until all foreign forces left.

The decision comes after the United States last week said it would withdraw its entire military by September 11 this year, later than the May 1 deadline set by the previous administration.

“They decide for themselves but we will do whatever we can to convince them that they continue to participate is for the national interest,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said of the Taliban in an interview with the company. Reuters news in Abu Dhabi.

Denial has upset the peace process with Turkey scheduled to hold a summit on Saturday that diplomats hope can create new impetus towards a resolution. politics between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 when they were overthrown by US-led forces, but they still control large areas.

Qureshi said delaying withdrawals can always occur due to logistics but the Taliban have largely succeeded in their withdrawal goals and therefore need to show flexibility over the new 9/11 deadline.

“The army will be deployed and a date has been taken and the process starts on May 1 and runs until September 11, so there will be a certain time frame,” Qureshi said.

A Taliban delegation attended a joint press conference in Moscow last month [File: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters]

The sources revealed to Reuters that Pakistan is putting pressure on the group to return to the group.

Qureshi said he believes the Taliban will benefit from continued participation but says he has no connection with the group.

Pakistan, which helped facilitate US-Taliban talks in Doha that resulted in an initial withdrawal agreement on May 1, has a significant influence on the Taliban.

According to US and Afghan officials, the group has protected areas in Pakistan, whose main military-run intelligence agency will support them, according to US and Afghan officials. Pakistan denies the allegations.

Qureshi said he feared violence could escalate if the peace process remained at a standstill, sending Afghanistan into civil war and leading to an exodus of Afghans.

Pakistan, a host of nearly 3 million Afghan refugees and economic migrants, has built 90 percent of the fence along its disputed 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) border with Afghanistan and hopes to complete it by September. he said.

He also said that Pakistan was ready to engage in direct dialogue with its arch-rival India after the Indian-run Kashmir state was restored, which New Delhi in 2019 split into federal territory. .

“We are two impossible atomic powers that should not go into direct conflict. It would be suicidal, ”Qureshi said.

But he said he is not planning to meet his Indian counterpart who is also in the United Arab Emirates this week.

Top Indian and Pakistani intelligence officers hold secret conversations in Dubai in January in a new effort to ease military tensions over the disputed Kashmir area in the Himalayas, sources told Reuters last week.



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