Pakistan welcomes China’s engagement with Taliban

Published July 30, 2021
“We believe that China being a neighbouring country to Afghanistan does have an important role to play in the Afghan peace process,” FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said. — APP/File
“We believe that China being a neighbouring country to Afghanistan does have an important role to play in the Afghan peace process,” FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday welcomed China’s engagement with the Taliban, underscoring the importance of Beijing’s role in the Afghan peace process.

“We believe that China being a neighbouring country to Afghanistan does have an important role to play in the Afghan peace process,” FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said at his weekly media briefing.

A nine-member Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the chief of the Afghan insurgent’s Doha-based political office, met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials in Tianjin (China) on Wednesday.

The talks focused on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and Taliban’s relations with other terrorist groups including East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

FO spokesman calls for reduction in violence

The visit took place as Taliban made sweeping gains in Afghanistan and at the same time stepped up their outreach to other countries in a bid to gain legitimacy.

“We have consistently maintained that at this critical juncture in the Afghan peace process, all energies must be focused on reaching an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan. Reduction in violence leading to ceasefire is particularly significant in this regard,” the spokesman further said.

Recalling the commonality in Pakistan’s and China’s approaches towards the Afghan conflict, Mr Chaudhri said both countries were committed to facilitating and supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesman Arindam Bagchi, meanwhile, in a statement from Delhi criticised Taliban advances, while commenting on the meeting between FM Wang and the Taliban delegation.

“Unilateral will of imposition by any party will not be democratic, cannot lead to stability, and cannot provide legitimacy,” Bagchi said.

India has in the past few months also tried to reach out to Taliban.

Mr Chaudhri criticised India, saying it was “among the spoilers of the peace process”. He pointed to what he called Indian opposition to the Afghan peace process and the efforts being made by the international community in this regard.

Meanwhile, in reply to a question about the postponed meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee, the top decision-making body of CPEC, he said new dates for the meeting would be announced soon. He said foreign ministers of China and Pakistan had discussed the issue during their recently held strategic dialogue.

The meeting was postponed after a bomb attack on a bus carrying Chinese workers to the Dasu dam’s construction site. The spokesman, however, claimed that the postponement of the JCC meeting was not linked to the tragic Dasu incident.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...