Pakistan for not attaching any pre-conditions to start Afghan peace process

PakistanPakistan for not attaching any pre-conditions to start Afghan peace process

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Monday called for not attaching any pre-conditions to help start the negotiation process between the Afghan Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan.

He was addressing the First Meeting of the Quadrilateral Contact Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States on Afghan reconciliation process here at the Foreign Office.

Aziz said since the primary objective of the reconciliation process was to create conditions to bring the Taliban groups to the negotiation table, it was important to offer them incentives to persuade them to move away from using violence as tool for pursuing political goals.

He said it was therefore important that pre-conditions were not attached. He termed it one of the key elements to ensure that the peace process remains constructive and achieves a meaningful outcome. He stressed that the Terms of References have to be consistent with the objectives and mandate of the Group.

The Advisor admitted that reconciliation through a politically negotiated settlement was an arduous and complex task and put forward a number of suggestions to make the process meaningful.

He called for avoiding the threat of use of military action against irreconcilables and said it cannot precede the offer of talks to all the groups and their response to such offers.

“Distinction between reconcileables and irreconcilables and how to deal with the irreconcilables can follow once the avenues for bringing them to the talks have been exhausted,” Aziz told the participants gathered to find a way out for the start of the peace process.

The Advisor said certain Confidence Building Measures can play a key role in encouraging Taliban groups to join the negotiation process. He said the roadmap was important for charting the course of action and stressed that it needs to be “realistic and flexible.”

“It should broadly define steps and phases, but avoid unrealistic targets and deadlines,” Aziz said.

Sartaj Aziz while pointing to the sensitive nature of Group’s work also suggested that the work of the group should be kept “out of media glare, as much as possible.”

Source: APP

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