ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday hoped that the United States and Taliban would continue to abide by their peace agreement.
Talking to Special Envoy of Foreign Minister of Qatar Dr Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, Mr Qureshi hoped that “progress on the implementation of the US-Taliban peace agreement would be maintained” to achieve a political settlement of the Afghanistan conflict.
The agreement signed between the US and Taliban in February 2020 had paved the way for the start of the intra-Afghan dialogue in September last year.
The US has, meanwhile, also cut down its military presence in Afghanistan to nearly 2,500 troops in line with the agreement and is slated to withdraw all troops by April 30, if the agreement holds.
The Biden administration has, however, initiated a review of the deal with the Taliban in view of continuing high level of violence, reports about insurgent groups, unbroken contacts with Al Qaeda, and virtually no progress in the intra-Afghan process.
The start of the review has made the peace process uncertain.
Qatar had played an important role by first hosting Taliban-US talks and now the intra-Afghan dialogue. Taliban have, meanwhile, been having their political office in Doha since June 2013.
Mr Qureshi hoped that “the collective efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan would bear fruit”.
Dr Qahtani also met Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters. The Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, was also present in the meeting.
“During the meeting matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, cooperation in various fields and facilitation of reconciliation process in Afghanistan were discussed in detail,” says a statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021