Welcoming negotiations: Freeing Taliban prisoners was crucial for Qatar talks

Taliban commanders released by Pakistan will be part of negotiations.


Kamran Yousaf June 19, 2013
Taliban commanders released by Pakistan will be part of negotiations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:


Pakistan has played a ‘crucial role’ in persuading the Afghan Taliban to hold direct negotiations with the United States in an effort to bring peace to their war-ravaged country, officials said here.


A senior foreign ministry official familiar with the development disclosed that Pakistan’s decision to release key Taliban figures over the past few months had “enabled the insurgent group to come to the negotiating table”.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also revealed that some of the Taliban commanders released by Pakistan would be part of negotiations scheduled for this week in Doha, Qatar.

Pakistan, according to him, had provided a ‘safe passage’ to certain Taliban commanders taking part in the landmark talks.

A foreign ministry statement issued here said Pakistan played a ‘constructive and positive role’ in helping accomplish the important milestone of bring Taliban to the negotiating table.

“Pakistan welcomes the announcement of the opening of a Taliban office in Doha for the purpose of bringing peace to Afghanistan and the region,” said the statement. It also welcomed the start of direct peace talks between the US and the Taliban. Foreign ministry spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said Pakistan had long called for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Afghan conflict. “It has repeatedly urged an early end to the war in order to re-establish peace and security in the region,” he added.

He said Pakistan was ready to continue to facilitate the process to achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan in accordance with the wishes of the Afghan people.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.

COMMENTS (5)

Muhammad | 8 years ago | Reply

so they wasted maimed and killed for 10 years just to talk at the gradnious location of qatar?? Qatar after all did make a lot money provided bases building its airlines helping the rebels in Libya.

usman | 8 years ago | Reply

Pakistan on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of a new Taliban political office in Doha “for the purpose of bringing peace to Afghanistan and the region,” The MOFA statement also welcomed the start of peace talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban. If the talks begin, they would be a significant step in peace efforts that have been locked in an impasse for nearly 18 months, after the Taliban walked out and accused the United States of negotiating in bad faith. Now Pakistan pushing in Taliban for the peace process is a positive step as of its regional importance for the endgame in Afghanistan, as Peace in the tribal areas is linked to peace in Afghanistan. So peace is the desire of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. These recent talks can be the only hope for the stability of the region.

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