Afghan reconciliation: ‘One centre of gravity needed to attain peace’

Foreign minister reiterates support for Afghan-led peace efforts.


Reuters February 23, 2012

LONDON: Pakistan will give its full support to any clear effort by the Afghan government to achieve a political settlement with the Taliban but does not want to lead a peace process that would impose a solution, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Wednesday.

Khar said Afghans were tired of attempts by other countries to take charge of their affairs and, for the good of future bilateral ties, Pakistan should not be seen to be interfering too closely.

“We will support any (peace efforts) that are Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven. This is our first and last pre-requisite,” Khar said in a speech at Chatham House, an international relations think tank in London.

“But we will not lead. We cannot lead ... We will only follow what our Afghan brothers and sisters decide is the course of action they will adopt,” she said.

Khar added that as long as that condition was met, Pakistan would not block any effort by any nation to assist the Afghan government in achieving a political settlement to end war in Afghanistan.

In a statement on Tuesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Pakistan “to support and facilitate our direct negotiation efforts as part of the peace process”.

“Pakistan’s support to the peace process will be crucial to its success, as well as a significant contribution to the security and stability of Afghanistan and the entire region,” Karzai said.

After a period of greater strain than usual, relations between Kabul and Islamabad have improved.

Khar said Afghans had to decide for themselves what was the best course of action to achieve peace in their country. Peace was in Pakistan’s national interest but there should be only “one centre of gravity” in the effort to attain it and that should be an Afghan-led process, she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.

COMMENTS (17)

sundar | 9 years ago | Reply

@V K Bajaj (Delhi): I agree Ms Khar is beautiful but how diplomatic she is as a FM especially during the recent trilateral meet? Is she strong enough to make independent decision out of tune with army?

Feb 19th editorial in Daily Times:

Ms Khar and her government seem to be playing to the tune of the military establishment’s obsession with India and the inroads it has made by projecting ‘soft’ power in Afghanistan.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20122\19\story19-2-2012pg3_1

Good luck to Ms. Khar

V K Bajaj (Delhi) | 9 years ago | Reply

@PakPunjabi:

I improve your comments as under:

Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar has certainly proved that she is a respectable and BEAUTIFUL politician. She is the person who has a great presence of BEAUTIFUL mind and diffuses the situation in a calm and BEAUTIFUL manner.

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