Pakistan’s role in peace talks deserves credit: Ghani

Published February 21, 2015
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
— AFP/File
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. — AFP/File

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday saluted Pakistan’s cooperation as Kabul seeks to lay the groundwork for peace with Taliban insurgents, the latest sign of improving ties between the two countries.

Afghanistan “appreciates Pakistan’s recent efforts in paving the ground for peace and reconciliation”, Mr Ghani said in a statement. “We welcome the recent position Pakistan has taken in pronouncing Afghanistan’s enemy as Pakistan’s.”

Also read: Pakistan supports Afghan reconciliation

He cited two major recent attacks as helping to bring the countries closer together — one in Yahya Khel in Afghanistan in November that left nearly 50 people dead, and the Taliban massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December that killed 153, mostly children.

Mr Ghani’s statement came after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Thursday that relations between the two countries had never been better.

“I think Afghanistan and Pakistan, working in close hands and in close cooperation, it will do wonders for cooperation in the field of counterterrorism,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said as he met top US diplomat John Kerry in Washington. “Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have never been better, and that is a very, very positive development.”

President Ghani also spoke after Taliban ‘commanders’ said the militants would soon restart contacts with US officials in Qatar to try to get peace talks on track after more than 13 years of war in Afghanistan.

The US and the Taliban’s main spokesman later denied the claims, however.

There have been several attempts at starting dialogue in recent years between the Taliban, Kabul and the United States — the Afghan government’s chief supporter — but with little success.


Afghan president refers to recent moves to pave ground for reconciliation in his country


Last year’s election of Mr Ghani, who pledged to make peace talks a priority, as well as supportive signals from Pakistan, which has long held significant influence with the Taliban, have however boosted hopes for possible dialogue.

“Ghani has done good work to promote a dialogue for peace,” one Taliban leader said. Another said his recent talks with tribal chiefs had led to progress.

Mr Ghani, however, said in his statement that “there are obviously elements opposing the peace process by spreading false information to cause public confusion and anxiety”.

Published in Dawn February 21th , 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...
Population crisis
Updated 11 Jul, 2024

Population crisis

Moreover, successful programmes, such as Lady Health Workers, can be utilised to provide information and reproductive health services to women.
Taxing agriculture
11 Jul, 2024

Taxing agriculture

OUR inability to collect sufficient tax revenue is resulting in persistently high fiscal deficits, forcing ...
Negligence at PHOTA
11 Jul, 2024

Negligence at PHOTA

THE impression that the state is being careless towards aspects of organ trade control is damaging. Recent news ...