ISLAMABAD: Visiting Afghan political leaders have called for an all-inclusive political settlement in their country through power sharing and a decentralised government. The Afghan leaders believe that any monopolistic setup was bound to fail.
The visiting delegation comprised Mir Rehman Rehmani, Salahuddin Rabbani, Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Ustad Mohammad Karim Khalili, Ahmad Zia Massoud, Ahmad Wali Massoud, Abdul Latif Pedram and Khalid Noor.
The delegation visited Pakistan at the invitation of the Pakistan government. The delegation met Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.
Thank Pakistan for giving assurance to play its role for a peaceful Afghanistan
Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, Mr Qanooni, along with other delegation members, called for a comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
They said the new Pakistani leadership wanted to leave the past behind and looked towards the future for stronger bilateral ties.
The delegation members told media that discussions with the Pakistani leadership focused on all-inclusive setup in Afghanistan representing all ethnic groups of the country. Another objective was to prevent bloodshed in the country.
They thanked Pakistan for giving assurance to play its role for a peaceful Afghanistan which was also inevitable for a stable Pakistan. They said the whole leadership had unanimity of views towards Afghanistan and wanted to start a new chapter of relations with the neighbouring country.
The delegation members believed that the government of one group as experienced in 1996 and it had failed and a similar government was bound to fail in future too owing to the multi-ethnic nature of Afghan society.
They said another priority was protection of the rights of people, including women and children, besides freedom of expression and voting rights.
In reply to a question, Mr Qanooni said the Taliban could capture the land but not the hearts of the people until they form an inclusive government and fulfil their commitments for the protection of rights of all communities, including minorities.
About the departure of former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and reports of him carrying huge cash, the delegation said corruption of public money had been a practice there, which could not be curbed until a comprehensive political system representing all groups was ensured.
The delegation members told media that even much bigger delegation would also visit other countries to seek support for their demands, and the process had been started from Pakistan because of it being a major player in the region with a huge border with Afghanistan.
Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021