World, regional countries’ demand Afghan govt, Taliban direct talks

By: Lailuma Noori

Following recent consultation meeting between Pakistan, China and Russia in Beijing where Taliban has been asked for talks with Afghanistan government, a number of members of leading body of High Peace Council (HPC) say progress has been made in this regard.
Related to peace talks, a member of the council’s leading body Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad expressed hope they would get positive result from the ongoing peace talks between US and Taliban.
“Taliban better know that the only solution of the issue is the start of intra-Afghan dialogue,” Waqad said, adding that not only Pakistan, China and Russia but all allies of Afghanistan are asking for starting official talks between Afghanistan and Taliban.
This comes after US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in a tweet said that in a tripartite meeting held in Beijing, all agreed that peace talks should be soon started between Taliban, Afghanistan government and all other Afghans.
“Intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans should start immediately; that these negotiations should produce a peace framework as soon as possible; and detail a future inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans,” Khalilzad tweeted.
The US Department of State said in a statement the other day that US, Russia and China believed that Pakistan could play key role in Afghanistan peace process.
In the meeting in China, Pakistan asked the Taliban group to hold direct talks with Afghanistan government. The demand by Islamabad was made before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump’s meeting set to be held on 22nd July this month.
Pakistan is considered as part of various bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral and multilateral mechanisms for Afghanistan peace process. Meanwhile, a number of regional countries are also interested in play role in Afghanistan peace process, while Afghanistan government insists on its position towards the country’s peace process and wants it to be led and owned by Afghans.
If a country cooperates with close coordination of Afghanistan government in connection with acceleration of trust-building and providing facilities, their initiative and cooperation are welcomed by Afghanistan government, but the main debate is how much such meetings can pave the way for starting direct talks between Afghanistan government and the Taliban group as no organization, nobody and no country can make decision on Afghanistan peace.
Cooperation of regional countries in connection with finding a political settlement for Afghanistan dispute is necessary and can be useful, but no regional and world mechanism can be replaced the intra-Afghan dialogue. For the past 18 years, the government and people of Afghanistan have been making effort to maintain lasting peace in the country, but continued efforts of the people, government and international community have not given any results so far. Previously, Taliban has rejected direct talks with Afghanistan government, but the group has not said anything regarding fresh demand of the regional and world countries for holding direct talks with Afghanistan government.

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