Kabul pushes Afghan Taliban for peace talks

Updated October 20, 2018

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Afghan consul general Mohammad Hashim Niazi speaks to mediapersons at Bacha Khan Markaz, Peshawar, on Friday. — Dawn
Afghan consul general Mohammad Hashim Niazi speaks to mediapersons at Bacha Khan Markaz, Peshawar, on Friday. — Dawn

PESHAWAR: Afghan consul general in Peshawar Mohammad Hashim Niazi on Friday declared talks the only way forward for peace in his country and asked the Afghan Taliban to try to come to power by contesting election and not by using force.

He was speaking to the reporters after attending the funeral prayers held by the ANP at its Bacha Khan Markaz here in absentia for the victims of the attack at the Governor’s House in Kandahar.

The attack, whose responsibility was claimed by the Afghan Taliban, had killed provincial police chief Abdul Razik, intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin and governor Zalmay Wesa.

“We condemn the tragic killing of our top officials. We call on the (Afghan) Taliban for peace talks. The Afghan problem can be resolved by talks and not by force,” the Afghan consul general told Dawn.

The envoy, who assumed the office recently, said the Afghan government had appealed to the Taliban militants time and again to come forward for talks strongly feeling that the use of force won’t resolve problems and rather, it deteriorated the situation in Afghanistan.

Envoy asks militants to try to come to power by contesting election, not by using force

He said there was always ‘give and take’, so Kabul appealed to the Afghan Taliban to join politics.

“Through political activities and election, they (Afghan Taliban) should come to power and serve the people if they want to,” he said.

Mr Niazi thanked the ANP for sharing the Afghan peoples’ grief over the Kandahar attack and for holding funeral prayers for its victims.

ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and other leaders, including Aimal Wali Khan, Sardar Hussain Babak and Ilyas Bilour, attended the funeral prayers and offered condolences to the Afghan officials over the deaths.

Mr Mian Iftikhar, who was vocal in his criticism of terrorism and the Taliban militants, said the Bacha Khan Markaz was a home for all Pakhtuns, so it held prayers for Kandahar attack victims to share the grief of Afghan brothers.

“We want the misunderstanding between Pakistan and Afghanistan to end and restoration of peace in the region. The people of both countries want peace for which true talks are the only way forward,” he said praising the Afghans taking part in elections and standing their ground regardless of the Taliban attacks.

The ANP leader said politics was the only way to fight militancy and that the recent militant attacks were only an attempt to sabotage Afghan elections.

ANP young leader Aimal Wali Khan wondered why other political parties didn’t respond to the killings in Afghanistan the way his party did.

He said the ANP firmly believed that peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan was a ‘mutual thing’.

“People on both sides of the border want peace and those wanting to destroy peace are their common enemy,” said Aimal, who is the great grandson of Bacha Khan, a proponent of non-violence.

He said those, who were pushing Pashtuns to the wall and thought that the genocide would eliminate resilient Pakhtuns, were wrong as that thought only brought Pakhtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan together.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018