Pakistan PM to urge Trump to restart Afghan peace talks

Taliban Mullah Abbas Stanikzai, center, attends “intra-Afghan” talks in Moscow on Feb. 6. (AP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Pakistan PM to urge Trump to restart Afghan peace talks

  • Calls the suspension of peace talks “unfortunate“
  • Says “no chance of talks” with India until the curfew is lifted in disputed Kashmir region 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would urge US President Donald Trump next week to revive Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban militant group.
Trump abruptly canceled secret talks with the Taliban at his Camp David retreat that were planned for Sept. 8 and has since said the talks are “dead.”
“It will be a big tragedy if these talks don’t make headway,” Khan said at a ceremony at Pakistan’s Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan.
Khan said he would meet Trump in New York on Monday, and would emphasize that there had been “destruction and chaos in Afghanistan for the last 40 years.”
“We will put our best (effort) that these talks are resumed again,” he said.
Khan said Pakistan had directed Taliban leaders to participate in earlier peace talks in Qatar and only discovered too late that talks had broken down. He said his next role would have been to convince the Taliban to open talks with the Afghan government.
Khan is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly while in New York.
The PM also said there was “no chance of talks” with India about its clampdown on the disputed territory of Kashmir until it lifted a curfew for people there.

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

Updated 52 min 9 sec ago

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

  • Details difficulties faced by Islamabad on the negotiations’ table
  • Says ball is in Kabul’s court now to end decades-old conflict in the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the US and the international community had commended Pakistan for its role in the Afghan peace process.

“It was difficult to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table; and to convince the world that the problems plaguing Afghanistan could not be resolved by the use of force,” Qureshi said, according to a statement released by the Foreign Office (FO) Saturday.

He added that Pakistan had to strive hard to push for the resumption of peace talks after US President Donald Trump abruptly called off the negotiations, in September last year, following the death of an American soldier in a Taliban-induced attack in Afghanistan.

“It is heartening to see that the US and the Taliban were finally close to signing a peace deal on February 29 after a substantial reduction in violence,” he said.

Qureshi said that during Zalmay Khalilzad’s recent visit to Pakistan, he had warned the US’ special envoy for Afghanistan about elements in the country who were benefiting from the prolonged conflict in Kabul.

In a separate conversation with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, he had “emphasized on the need for the two countries to strengthen their relationship once again.”

Qureshi noted that ordinary Afghans were yearning for peace after nearly 19 years of war, adding that it was now up to the Afghan elite to work toward making that a reality.

“Either way, Pakistan has played its role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and it was now up to the Afghans how they want to deal with the situation,” he said.