Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Pakistan Urges All Afghan War Sides to Re-Engage

Pakistan Urges All Afghan War Sides to Re-Engage

KABUL - Pakistan on Monday urged all sides to the Afghanistan conflict to re-engage in an effort to find a negotiated settlement using the ongoing political process after US President Doland Trump cancelled talks with the Taliban.
“Pakistan looks for optimised engagement following earliest resumption of the talks,” said a statement issued by the Foreign office in Islamabad.
US President Trump stunned many people on Saturday evening when he announced that he was supposed to meet senior Taliban leaders and the Afghan president at Camp David on Sunday, but those talks had been called off.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told CNN that the United States was still interested in striking a peace deal with the Taliban, provided they gave up violence.
Trump’s announcement followed a Taliban statement, admitting to a Thursday car bombing at a security post near Nato headquarters in Kabul that killed 12 people. Two Nato soldiers — one American and a Romanian — were also killed in the attack.
“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” Trump said in the tweet.
The Taliban also used Twitter to respond to Trump’s announcement, saying they found his statement disappointing.
Taliban spokesman Shaheen referred to this in another tweet, saying that the two sides had agreed to hold “numerous intra-Afghan talks in different countries” but nothing had been finalised yet.
“There were to be multiple international meetings in different countries” before a final agreement on direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government,” he wrote.
A US media report claimed that Trump decided to hold direct talks with the Taliban because he believed “he would be better positioned to do the negotiating himself”.
US media reports said the decision to invite Taliban leaders and President Ashraf Ghani to Camp David was made a week ago in a meeting between President Trump and his national security officials.
Arrangements were made over the past week to bring the Taliban leadership to the US, and President Ghani had already planned a trip to Washington.
CNN reported that after Thursday’s bombing, the national security team convened again and briefed Trump on the situation. The decision was made then to cancel the talks and Ghani cancelled his trip. The Taliban leaders never arrived in the US.
“Pakistan has always condemned violence and called on all sides for restraint and commitment to pursue the process,” the FO statement said.
The statement added that Pakistan had been facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in good faith and as a shared responsibility, and had encouraged all sides to remain engaged with sincerity and patience.
Pakistan will continue to monitor the developments. Pakistan reiterates its principled policy stance that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)