Pakistan, Afghanistan need to work more to completely end trust deficit: Abdullah

Afghan leader says there is no military solution to decades-old conflict in war-torn country

Rehman Azhar March 18, 2021
Abdullah said the US military presence was needed until the situation in Afghanistan improved. PHOTO: AFP


Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) of Afghanistan, has said that Pakistan’s consistent support for Afghan peace process is crucial for peaceful settlement in the war-torn country.

“There are no winners in fighting and there are no losers in peaceful settlement. The Taliban should hear from all countries including the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that continuation of the war does not have any support anywhere in the world,” he said while speaking to Express News anchorperson Rehman Azhar before heading to Moscow.


Talking about the trust factor between the two countries, he said that it is improving between Afghanistan and Pakistan and added that during his last visit to Islamabad he discussed all aspects of bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

“I am also grateful to the government of Pakistan and the National Assembly of Pakistan for the steps they have taken with regards to facilitation of visa and trade and transit. But we need to continue to work together and I wouldn’t say that now there is no mistrust but both sides need to work more..,” Dr Abdullah said.

Pakistan, he said, is an important player in the Afghan peace process and its support is crucial for the peaceful settlement in the war-stricken country.

The chairman HCNR said that Afghan people have suffered a lot due to the unrest in the country over the last 42 years and "now there is no option other than peace for Afghanistan".

He assured Pakistan that the Afghan government had done its best to ensure peace in the country and vowed to continue its efforts to end decades-old conflict.

“I am not disappointed but I see the need for urgency, and that’s what the people of Afghanistan and the world community expect from us but both sides need to realise that that there is no military solution.”

When asked about his expectations from the Moscow Dialogue and Istanbul process, Dr Abdullah said that the start of negotiations after so many years of war is itself good news and an important opportunity.

“With the pace of the progress, neither I nor the people of Afghanistan are satisfied. We should have utilised the time available for us in better way for us the Doha process will continue and the negotiating team will have its role but recently there was an idea that if we move it to the next level in order for the process to be re-energised by the top leaders of the country and an inclusive team in a different venue, that does not mean that peace process will stop. We need support of all of the countries and also in every way and means to try to help it.”

On Pak-Afghan relations, the Afghan leader said the relations between the countries should be strengthened further. “I can only see opportunities for all countries around Afghanistan and beyond. Potentials are enormous for both countries and both nations.”


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