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Afghanistan- Pakistan Jointly Call on Taliban to join Peace Talks

President Ashraf Ghani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have called on the Afghan Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer and join the peace process without further delay. They agreed that there was no military solution to the ongoing Afghan conflict and that the political solution was the best way to end the 17 year old war.

There was also no immediate response from the Taliban  to the Pakistan-Afghanistan joint call for the rebels to join Afghan peace process.

Both leaders “agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity” through road, rail, trade and transit links as well as importing natural gas and power to Pakistan through Afghanistan from resource-rich Central Asian states.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has offered peace talks with the Afghan Taliban with no preconditions along with confidence -building measures such as removal of sanctions, prisoner release,ceasefire and recognising Taliban as a political party,allowing Taliban offices in Afghanistan, issuing passports to their families and consideration
on the amendment in the constitution and fresh elections.

Stressing for the regional process to stabilize Afghanistan,Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Alice South and Central Asia Alice Wells said Pakistan has a very important role to play  in the Afghan peace process.

“We believe that Pakistan can certainly help to facilitate talks and to take actions that will put pressure on and encourage the Taliban to move forward towards a politically negotiated settlement,” Wells said.

Pakistan has praised Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s proposed political process in which he offered to recognize Taliban group as a political party.

The latest spate of terror attacks in AFghanistan by Taliban and ISIS’s Wilayah Khorasan shows that urban areas remain highly vulnerable as Taliban insurgent group has made considerable territorial gains and operates in 70% of Afghanistan as per reports.

Invasion of Afghanistan was triggered by the September 11,2001 attacks and since then Taliban has been fighting to restore Islamic rule in the country .The Taliban have so far refused to have direct talks with Kabul but have reiterated their demand to talk to the US before holding talks with Kabul. Ghani’s proposed political process aimed at ending more than 17 years of war.

The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “We support all efforts that lead to ending the ongoing crisis in this country.”

Ealier,Pakistan hosted the first direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban in 2015 but those talks ended when Kabul announced death of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Regional countries and the West have been building pressure to stabalize Afghanistan, Ghani ‘s mainfocus is on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, which is also supported by Washington.

Welcoming the TAPI initiative, the Taliban vowed to support as well as protect the pipeline in areas under its control, since the project has great development potential for Afghanistan and has the great momentum for peace.

Taliban political officials say they have submitted a report to their top leadership after concluding interactions with officials in Pakistan and representatives from other nations, including China and Qatar, on finding a solution to the Afghan war.

During releasing of the US new strategy in , president Donald Trump has asked Pakisatn to stop sheltering insurgent leaders, including those of the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network of terrorists.US paid multi-billion dollars to Pakistan but they have sheltered those terrorists to whom we are fighting. This situation must be change and this changed would immediately take place. In a report of the US state Department, Pakistan was called as a country who has sheltered sanctuaries to terrorists and these groups have been organizing attacks from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

Trump in January 2018 has even suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan until the country takes “decisive actions” against the terrorists fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson on Saturday said the fight against terror was the most important fight in the world and losing it would be unacceptable.

The United States last year stepped up its military assistance to Afghanistan, with the aim of forcing them to the negotiating table.

Speaking on the Afghan government’s peace offer to the Taliban, Nicholson said he welcomes the offer.

“Just earlier this year, we achieved a significant milestone that both sides have put peace offers on the table. The Afghan government and the Taliban. We have never achieved this point in the war before,” he added.

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