PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali Khan has stressed the need for resuming peace talks to resolve the Afghan conflict, adding that it’s the Pakhtun people on both sides of the Durand Line who have been bearing the brunt of violence in the region.
The ANP chief expressed these views during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after participating in an international peace conference in Kabul, according to a statement issued from the Bacha Khan Markaz, the provincial secretariat of the ANP, here on Friday.
“The peace talks should be resumed, but talks would only be acceptable to all Afghans when the Afghan government leads the talks,” he said in the meeting with the Afghan president.
He reiterated that peace talks without the Afghan government would be futile.
“War is not a solution to any problem; rather dialogue should be initiated to seek a durable solution to all issues,” the ANP leader said.
He suggested that Russia, China and United States should mediate in the Afghan conflict to resolve it.
He said the Afghan government should sit together with the Pakistan government to discuss and review their problems and look for solution to the problem.
“The Afghan government should play a positive role to remove misunderstandings with Pakistan and vice versa,” the ANP leader said.
The Pakistan government should immediately launch a train service for promotion of trade with Afghanistan and peoples of the two countries should be allowed to travel freely so that friendly relations between the two countries could be restored, he said.
On this occasion, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that Pakhtuns on either side of the border had paid a heavy price for the ongoing civil war in the region. He stressed that joint efforts on the government as well as peoples’ levels should be made to end the conflict.
Mr Ghani said that he had made it clear to the Pakistan government during his recent visit to Islamabad that it would have to sincerely extend friendship with Afghanistan if it wanted to eliminate poverty, energy crisis and other issues.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019