Pakistan, Afghan Taliban agree to resume peace talks halted by US
ISLAMABAD, Oct 3 (XINHUA/APP):Pakistan and political representatives of the Afghan Taliban on Thursday agreed on the earliest resumption of the Afghan peace process that was unilaterally and abruptly called off by U.S. President Donald Trump in early September.
A delegation of the Taliban Political Commission (TPC) met Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Pakistani Foreign Ministry and discussed ways for the resumption of the peace process.
The 12-member Taliban delegation was led by head of the TPC Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar and included senior members of the commission.
It is the first visit of a Taliban delegation to Pakistan since the establishment of the TPC in 2013.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qureshi expressed hope that the currently paused peace process would be restarted at an early date, adding that it was up to the parties of the conflict in Afghanistan to grasp the opportunity.
A settlement of the conflict would lead to a significant reduction of violence, end of bloodshed and achieve long-term peace, stability and prosperity for future generations of Afghanistan, the statement quoted Qureshi as telling the Taliban political leaders.
Qureshi added that Pakistan would continue to support all efforts to achieve permanent peace in Afghanistan which was essential for Pakistan’s own socio-economic development and progress.
Pakistan has maintained for several years that there is no military solution to the complex situation in Afghanistan and that an inclusive peace and reconciliation process involving all sections of the Afghan society was the only and practical way forward.
Thanking Pakistan for the hospitality, the TPC delegation appreciated Pakistan’s support for peace in Afghanistan, according to the foreign ministry.
The Taliban political negotiators are visiting Pakistan at a time when U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is also in Pakistan. Local media has reported both sides are most likely to meet in Pakistan.