By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, on Tuesday, highlighting that the ongoing Afghan peace talks are the best hope for the region, said that it was now time for Pakistan and Afghanistan “to define a new vision”.
“The time is now for both nations, to make a further detour, define a new vision, address outstanding issues as well as our shared interest, and realise that peace and stability in Afghanistan or any country in our south and central Asian geography [will] have a far reaching ripple effect,” said Dr. Abdullah.
He thanked Pakistan for facilitating the Afghan peace process and the country’s efforts in ensuring the opportunity for dignified, durable and sustainable peace in the war-torn country. “Pakistan has played an important role in facilitating this moment, and my delegation and I, thank you, the government and people of Pakistan for their efforts,” said Dr. Abdullah in an address to the Institute for Strategic Studies in Islamabad.
The Afghan leader, who is in Islamabad for a three-day trip, emphasised that the start of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban is an “important opportunity”. He added, that as he was speaking in Pakistan, delegations from both the sides were in Doha “sitting around a table discussing ways and means of ending the decades of conflict through a political settlement in Afghanistan”.
The chairman for the reconciliation council urged that there is a “need to go beyond the usual stale rhetoric and shadowy conspiracy theories”.
“We cannot afford to pursue business as usual. We need fresh approaches that our people demand from us. It is more urgent than ever to look to our region as one region,” observed Dr. Abdullah.
“We also need to draw necessary lessons of our gains and losses, threats and opportunities,” said Dr. Abdullah. He added that there was also a need to look at the where “we could have been today if we would have aimed for stronger cooperation, reduced tensions, promoted moderation, increased regional connectivity.
The visiting Afghan dignitary said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing a “series of common threats including various shades of terrorism, extremism and intolerance”. He added that the “current geo political contest of the region” has also opened up new windows of opportunities.