ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged warring Afghan factions to cooperate for lowering violence in Afghanistan so that an enduring peace could be achieved there.
PM Khan said this in telephone conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in which the two leaders discussed the Afghan peace process.
The PM Office quoted Mr Khan as emphasising “the importance of all Afghan parties working for a reduction in the violence leading to ceasefire”.
The conversation took place ahead of the upcoming visit of chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah to Islamabad, which is likely to begin on Monday.
The discussion took place in the backdrop of increase in violence in Afghanistan, which can potentially cause setbacks for intra-Afghan talks in Doha (Qatar) that have been continuing for almost a fortnight now.
Kabul has been demanding a ceasefire from the outset of the dialogue in Doha, but Taliban do not agree with it and are linking the lowering of violence to progress in the peace process. Both sides blame each other for the spike in violence.
In his speech at the UNGA on Wednesday night, President Ghani said: “The Afghan people have a clear and urgent priority: a ceasefire. An urgent end to the violence will more than anything else give us a chance to progress.”
Mr Khan said all Afghan stakeholders must seize this historic opportunity and work together to secure an inclusive and comprehensive political agreement through the Afghan-led and Afghan-owed process.
He held out an assurance that Pakistan would “fully support” the decisions the Afghans would take about their future.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020