US lauds Pakistan’s role in Afghan reconciliation process

WASHGINTON: The United States has appreciated Pakistan’s constructive role in the Afghan reconciliation process, and also urged the Taliban to stay engaged with the Afghan government.

“Pakistan has played a helpful role in these reconciliation process and we continue to want to continue to see them play that constructive role,” the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said during a daily press briefing in Washington.

US lauds Pakistan’s role in Afghan reconciliation process

The statement came after Pakistan announced to postpone the second round of the Afghan peace talks which were scheduled to be held on Friday (today) in the backdrop of the reports regarding death of Taliban Chief Mullah Muhammad Omar and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership.

“We would encourage the Taliban to use this time of opportunity to make genuine peace with the Afghan Government and to rebuild their lives in peace in Afghanistan,” Mark Toner said.

“They can accept the Government of Afghanistan’s invitation to join a peace process and ultimately become part of the legitimate political system of a sovereign, united Afghanistan supported by the international community, or they can choose to continue fighting Afghans and destabilizing their own country,” he added.

On Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Office announced that the second round of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban had been postponed after the reports surfaced about the death of Taliban Supreme Command Mullah Muhammad Omar.

“In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks is being postponed,” the Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement.

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“Pakistan and other friendly countries of Afghanistan hope that the Taliban leadership will stay engaged in the process of peace talks in order to promote a lasting peace in Afghanistan,” Qazi Khalilullah added.

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