Pakistan questions US commitment to Afghan peace process

Drone strike on Taliban chief ‘dealt a blow’ to talks, says Maleeha

Our Correspondent June 23, 2016
Drone strike on Taliban chief ‘dealt a blow’ to talks, says Maleeha. PHOTO: ATHER KHAN

ISLAMABAD: Questioning America’s commitment to the Afghan peace process, Pakistan warned that those seeking a renewed recourse to military-oriented solution need to think through its consequences.

“Is it (US) ready to invest in war rather than peace in Afghanistan?” asked Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi while speaking in the quarterly debate on Afghanistan at the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York on Wednesday.

US, Pakistan continue to bicker over Mullah Mansour's death

She condemned the May 21 US drone strike in Naushki district of Balochistan which killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, describing it as an ‘unacceptable and blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and of the UN charter and international law’.

The ambassador also reacted sharply to allegations made by the Afghan representative, calling these unjustified, untrue and gratuitous.

Lodhi, instead, pointed out how the international community was well aware of, and has acknowledged, Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

While expressing Pakistan’s readiness to support a genuine Afghan peace process, Lodhi warned that her country will not tolerate violations of its sovereignty and its territorial integrity, “from whatever source”.

She demanded to know whether the international community wants negotiated peace or a military solution in Afghanistan.

Referring to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s report on Afghanistan, the Pakistani envoy said it reinforces the firm international consensus that, ‘Only by a negotiated political agreement will Afghans achieve sustainable peace’.

Drone strike on Pakistani soil detrimental to relations with US: Army chief

She reiterated that based on this belief in a negotiated peace, and in response to requests from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan agreed to facilitate the first-ever direct peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Afghan Taliban in Murree in June 2015.

Calling these talks a ‘promising start’, Ambassador Lodhi regretted that days before the second round, in which the two sides were to also consider a de-escalation of violence, the talks were scuttled by leaking reports of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar’s death.

Ambassador Lodhi also pointed to Pakistan’s concerted efforts that led to the establishment of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) in which Afghanistan, the US, China and Pakistan tried to revive Afghan peace efforts.

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour killed in US drone strike in Pakistan

This process, Ambassador Lodhi lamented, was undermined by last month’s US drone attack.

This strike, she said, dealt “a blow to the Afghan peace process” and added to the intensity and complexity of the Afghan conflict.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2016.


Mero Afghan | 6 years ago | Reply Joking has a limit and she is crossing it.
Reader | 6 years ago | Reply US wants no peace in Afghanistan. They build embassy & infrastructure for very long stay @numbersnumbers: That passport & CNIC were just like your opnion
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