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December 16, 2018
The Kabul Times
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Time for Pakistan to step forward for peace in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s peaceful future depends to a great extent on an auspicious regional environment, with Pakistan at its core. Vice versa, an unstable Afghanistan will complicate Pakistan’s ability to refurbish its weak state and economy and suppress dangerous internal militancy.
The Afghan government has always been complaining that Pakistan is seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan and has been interfering in domestic issues openly in the last over four decades. The Pakistan politicians have also time and again overtly or covertly acknowledged involvement in Afghanistan instability that has caused the relations between the two countries never improved.
Meanwhile since assuming office, US president Donald Trump has time and again asked Pakistan to play its key role in Afghanistan stability. The US administration even has cut financial assistance to the neighboring country and put further pressures to give up support of the militants and shun terrorists’ safe havens.
Recently, the United States President Donald Trump has reportedlywritten a letter to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking Islamabad’s assistance in Afghan peace process. The Pakistani media reported that Prime Minister Khan received a letter from the US president.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed the same to Reuters saying: “President Trump has written a letter. He has asked for Pakistan’s cooperation to bring the Taliban into talks.”
The Pakistani prime minister, in a meeting with journalists, said that he had received the letter earlier yesterday.In the letter, he said, Trump has asked Pakistan to play its role in the peace talks which seek to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.This is the first direct communication between the two leaders since Imran Khan assumed power in August.
The fresh development came at time when The US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace Zalmay Khalilzad launched his trip to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to facilitate peace process.
Khalilzad departed for an eight-nation tour from December 2 to 20, the US Department of State said in a statement.The envoy will also meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to decide their nation’s fate, the statement said.
Now it is the time for Pakistan to step forward for peace in Afghanistan and the country is required to reach a common ground over the peace initiative that includes all important aspects of both the bilateral relations and the peace process in the country.
President Ghani in his addresses to nation has time and again stated that Afghanistan is required to have peace with Pakistan at first, thenstart negotiations with Taliban. The president’s remarks meant that the neighboring country has been playing key role in instability of Afghanistan and still extending support to militants fighting against Afghan government and people.
The country will be able to play a crucial role in the peace process if it manages to convince the Taliban for cease of the insurgency in Afghanistan. Every year’s fighting season brings tensions into the relations between the two countries and directly harms the Afghan peace process.
Afghanistan shakes friendship hand with every country but on the condition of honesty and sincerity.