As Afghan peace talks begin, Pakistan cautions against spoilers, repeating past mistakes

FOREIGN MINISTER MAKHDOOM SHAH MAHMOOD QURESHI WHILE ATTENDING INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF INTRA AFGHAN DIALOGUE BEING HELD AT DOHA, THROUGH A VIDEO LINK TODAY ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2020.

ISLAMABAD, Sep 12 (APP): As the historic Afghan peace talks begin Saturday in Doha to end decades-old war, Pakistan warned the international community against the role of spoilers poised to impair the hard-earned process.

Addressing the opening session of Afghan peace talks through video link, the foreign minister termed the commencement of peace talks a global recognition of Pakistan’s stance of no-military solution to Afghan dispute rather a political solution being only a way forward.

Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq is representing Pakistan at the ceremony while the foreign minister participated virtually at the special invitation of Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
Among others, the key speakers at the event included Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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The foreign minister said that the forthcoming negotiations were for the Afghans to decide about their future.

“The Afghans alone must be the masters of their destiny without outside influence or interference.

The spoilers from within and from without will pose formidable challenges. Constant vigilance will be required to guard against their machinations,” Qureshi said.

He hoped that all the sides would fulfill their commitments and remain committed to achieve a positive outcome.

The foreign minister said the Intra-Afghan Negotiations were a milestone towards establishment of peace in Afghanistan. The Afghan leadership must seize the historic opportunity to pave way for a durable peace through the negotiations.

He reiterated that considering it a collective responsibility, Pakistan always played
re-conciliatory role in Afghan peace process and would keep it up.

He said besides Afghanistan, Pakistan was the country that had suffered the most due to Afghan conflict bearing attacks, deaths and displacement of citizens besides huge economic loss.

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While calling for the fullest role of international community to take the matter to its logical end, the foreign minister also advised not to repeat the mistakes made in the past, to achieve the dream of peaceful Afghanistan.

He urged the international community to continue supporting Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process while respecting the consensus to emerge from the Intra-Afghan Negotiations.

Later, on Twitter, the foreign minister termed it a “historic day for Afghan peace process.”
He said Pakistan had long maintained that peace, not war, was the answer.

“We are proud to champion a partnership for peace and move forward with faith and resolve that will not be deterred. Pakistan will continue to be a force for a stable and prosperous region,” he remarked.