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Islamabad to Continue Facilitating Afghan Peace Talks: Imran Khan

by Newsweek Pakistan

P.M. Khan and President Ghani during the Pakistani leader’s daylong visit to Kabul. Courtesy Prime Minister’s Office

Pakistan’s prime minister reiterates call for all stakeholders to take measures to reduce violence in war-torn neighbor

Islamabad’s outreach to all Afghan stakeholders is part of its facilitation for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in the war-torn state, Prime Minister Imran Khan told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday.

The two leaders discussed progress in the ongoing Afghan peace process during a phone call that coincided with a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and a Taliban delegation from their political office in Doha. Ghani and Khan both pledged to strengthen relations between their two countries, with Pakistan’s prime minister reiterating his country’s steadfast support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to achieve a durable political situation.

Welcoming a decision on rules and procedures for intra-Afghan negotiations, Khan underlined that all sides in the Afghanistan conflict must take measures to reduce violence and achieve a lasting ceasefire. Both leaders, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, agreed to continue their engagement in support of the peace process and to enhance bilateral cooperation.

The Taliban delegation is scheduled to meet the prime minister and other senior government officials during its three-day trip to Pakistan. The visit is taking place on Pakistan’s invitation as part of Islamabad’s efforts for outreach to all Afghan stakeholders for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, according to the Foreign Office.

In a statement, Kabul welcomed the Taliban’s visit to boost national reconciliation efforts. “The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is aware of the visit of a delegation of the Taliban’s Political Commission to Islamabad at the invitation of Pakistani officials. The Taliban delegation’s visit to Islamabad has taken place after consultation with the government of [Afghanistan] and as a result of a state visit to Afghanistan by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, H.E. Imran Khan,” the Afghan foreign ministry said.

It said that the visit was part of ongoing endeavors to strengthen peace and the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan, adding that Kabul appreciates these efforts.

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