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Editorial

Time for Pakistan to take practical steps for lasting peace

Pakistani officials saying that the visit of Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to Pakistan sees a new chapter opening up in bilateral relations and now is the time for the ongoing Afghan peace process to come to its logical conclusion.
Extending Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, the Pakistani officials told the Afghan delegation that mistakes of the past should not be repeated, nor the past history should dictate the future course of action.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast support to the peace process, Pakistani FM emphasized that Pakistan had always maintained that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and encouraged all parties to reach a political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.
Pakistan can play a highly significant role in the Afghan peace process if the country shows its real intention and put its weight behind. Talking to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani a couple of days ago, Pakistani Prime Minister also reiterated his support to the peace process.
Afghan people and government have stated on different occasions that Pakistan had leverage on the Taliban leadership and would be able to play instrumental role. However, Afghan and Pakistani officials exchanged harsh rhetoric and the blame game continued for years.
Afghans believe that Pakistan harbored the Taliban and militant groups, which was denied by Pakistan. On the other side, Pakistani officials and the media said that Pakistan’s stability was threatened from the Afghan soil and feared the spillover. The blame game was proved counterproductive and damaged the bilateral relations between the two sides.
Islamabad’s support for the peace process will be highly crucial at this juncture as the Afghan and Taliban negotiating teams have started their face-to-face talks in the Qatari capital of Doha. Having strong leverage on the Taliban, Pakistan can push the Taliban to remove the barriers and reach an agreement with the Afghan government.
Before his departure to Pakistan, Dr. Abdullah said that the visit would provide a unique opportunity for both sides to exchange views on Afghanistan peace talks in Doha and bilateral relations. “I hope this visit will open a new chapter of mutual cooperation at all levels, especially on achieving a lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan.”
Now it is the time for Afghanistan and Pakistan to bury their differences and cement their ties. Pakistan must stand by its commitment and play its role constructively vis-à-vis peace process. The country is needed to prove their will and beyond their leaders’ words, and ease peace and stability in both countries and the region.
A peaceful Afghanistan will be not only in the interests of Pakistan but also regional and global states. Afghanistan have urged and will welcome the constructive role played by any countries – be it in Asia, Europe or America. Afghanistan left no stone unturned to garner the support of the region and the globe, which has to respect the demands and preconditions of the Afghan state and nation.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan news, us, China & World News.