Editorial

‘Taliban should clarify ties with Pakistan’

During a meeting with US special envoy on Afghanistan peace process which was also attended by members of the Peace Consultative Board, the government’s negotiating team, politicians, representatives of political parties, ulema and civil activists,President Ghani told the visiting US diplomat that more action was needed to achieve lasting peace in the country.
President Ghani said Afghans want the Taliban to clarify their relationship with Pakistan. “At the same time, we ask Pakistan to explain its relationship with the Taliban…”
“I have announced holding of a consultative Peace Loya Jirga to let all people contribute to this constructive debate. In coming days, a women’s advisory jirga will be set up and delegates from 34 provinces will attend it,” President Ghani said.
Meanwhile, Khalilzad said that there were no differences of opinion between the Afghan government and the US on the peace process. Efforts in this regard were in a preliminary stage, he continued. Progress remained limited, but encouraging, he said.
A ceasefire and dialogue between the Afghan government and Taliban were the most important issues, Khalilzad remarked, welcoming PresidentGhani’s initiative to hold a Loyal on peace.
Indeed, it is not only Afghanistan that has problem with Pakistan over supporting of the Taliban and other terrorists. India and Iran have also been victimized by the terror group which are being supported by the neighboring country and provided safe havens to them. The two countries said will retaliate against the terror groups if Pakistan fails to punish them.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan flagged the reported meeting between Taliban and Pakistan PM Imran Khan. The letter to UN states that “This initiative is a source of deep regret and concern to the people and Government of Afghanistan as it amounts to the official recognition and legitimization of an armed-group that poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan, and whose members are sanctioned by provisions of the UN Security Council’s 1988 Committee’s Sanctions Regime.”
From its establishment based on religious ideology, Pakistan has attempted to use religious extremism and terrorism as tools, in addition to its military forces, to ensure its continued existence. Taliban has been used as proxy against the Afghan government and the region to achieve its goals, that is destabilization of Afghanistan and the region.
After the 9/11 attack in the USA and the direct involvement of world powers in Afghanistan, the international community contended that Pakistan’s army and intelligence agency were using terrorism and extremism to achieve its strategic goals. After Osama bin Laden was killed near a military academy in Pakistan, that view was turned into a reality.
Despite that, the people of Afghanistan are determined to forge friendly relations with the neighboring countries on the basis of mutual respect and safety of its national sovereignty, this, however, seems to be impossible to achieve that dream in the wake of decades of hostile policies and interference by Pakistani governments in Afghanistan.
In the wake of ongoing peace efforts, Taliban should clarify its ties with Pakistan and that whether it wants Afghanistan stability or willing to play for their masters.
The government of Afghanistan, in line with the lessons it has learned over the past 40 years, must define an interest-oriented policy which is clear and practical and then implemented it in its foreign policy regarding Pakistan.

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