COAS discusses Afghan peace process with envoy

Gen Qamar Bajwa says Shukrullah Atif Mashal's services will help optimise bilateral relations

News Desk January 11, 2019
Gen Qamar says Shukrullah Atif Mashal's services will help optimise bilateral relations. PHOTO: ISPR

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed on Friday regional security situation and Afghanistan peace process during a meeting with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Shukrullah Atif Mashal.

The two met at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.

The army chief said that the Afghan envoy’s services will help optimise the mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

The meeting comes a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s point man in the region, Mohammad Omar Daudzai said that Pakistan’s government and security establishment were on the same page, which would provide a suitable environment for holding talks on key issues concerning the two countries.

Talks with Taliban: Pakistan playing positive role, says Afghan envoy

The Afghan president’s emissary, in an interview with the BBC, admitted that Pakistan’s attitude with regards to its western neighbour had changed in the context of current circumstances.

“I don’t want to get into the past, but in the present, there is much evidence that Pakistan is playing a positive role in Afghan peace talks,” Daudzai said during his official visit to Islamabad.

The comments were made a day after the Taliban called off the fourth round of talks with US officials in Qatar, due to start this week, over disagreements about the involvement of Afghan officials, a possible ceasefire and prisoner exchange.

Efforts for a negotiated settlement have gathered pace in recent weeks, however, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has admitted that without direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, an end to the 17-year-old conflict can only remain a dream.


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