Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that holding of Intra-Afghan dialogue serves as a milestone for peace in Afghanistan.
“The world is today accepting Pakistan’s stance and the international community needs to play its full role to bring the Afghan peace process to a logical end,” he was speaking through video link in the opening ceremony of intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha.
Pakistan has been holding this stance that Afghan issue could not be resolved through the use of force and it is welcoming that the world is now accepting Pakistan’s stance, he remarked.
The Foreign Minister called the negotiations a golden opportunity for the Afghan leadership to pave the way for durable peace in Afghanistan.
He reiterated that Pakistan sincerely played its reconciliatory role in the Afghan peace process as a shared responsibility, and it will continue to do so.
It is the need of the hour that past mistakes be not repeated and the dream of the establishment of peace should be realized, he stressed. We will have to keep eye on the elements who are bent upon failing the Afghan peace process, he added.
PM Imran welcomes intra-Afghan talks
In a related development, Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the launch of intra-Afghan dialogue. He said now that Pakistan has met its commitments, it’s up to the Afghans to work towards durable peace through a negotiated settlement of the dispute.
However, the PM assured the Afghans that it will not abandon them at this critical juncture and will continue to support their peace efforts.
The warring Afghan factions are set to meet in Doha, Qatar after the deadlock over prisoner release was successfully overcome.
The 21-member Afghan government team is being led by Masoom Stanekzai. It reached Doha on Friday for negotiating with the other side a way forward for the country affected by almost two-decades of violence and bloodshed.
The Prime Minister said: “I warmly welcome the announcement regarding commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiations on 12 September 2020. Finally, our combined efforts have brought forth the day that the Afghan people have been yearning for.”
He recalled that Pakistan too had suffered from the fallout of the Afghan conflict in the shape of terrorism, which caused both human and economic losses.
“Pakistan has played a pivotal role in facilitating the Afghan peace process to this juncture. We feel deeply gratified today as we have fulfilled our part of the responsibility,” the Prime Minister said about Pakistan’s contribution to efforts for Afghan reconciliation.
“It is now for the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity, work together constructively, and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement,” he added.
The prime minister advised all sides — which are a part of the talks to honour their commitments, persevere, and staunchly pursue the goal of peaceful settlement of the dispute, which is now in its 19th year.
“For its part, Pakistan will continue to remain in full support and solidarity with the Afghan people as they march forward in this consequential journey for peace and development,” he said.