Afghan president wants talks 'with Pakistan first' on brokering peace with Taliban

Published: June 9, 2015
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Days after’s Ashraf Ghani letter urging arrest of Taliban militants in Pakistan was ‘leaked’, the Afghan President has called for holding peace talks with Pakistan first before holding similar talks with the Taliban.

Speaking in Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace, Ghani said that, “Reconciliation does not take place with a brother but it is done with those who fight with you,” he said as quoted by the correspondents who attended the gathering during Ghani’s visit to the city.

“We should open peace talks with Pakistan to encourage the Taliban to come to the negotiation table,” he stressed.

He also reportedly referred to the remarks by his predecessor Hamid Karzai that those Taliban leaders who reportedly wanted to join the peace process had either been killed or arrested.

Regarding the hue and cry raised over a recent understanding reached between the Afghan and Pakistani intelligence agencies, Ghani said he will personally review this agreement, adding it will be formally signed only after a consensus is developed in Afghanistan.

Read: ‘Secret letter’ reveals Afghan pressure on Pakistan

“The agreement has not yet been signed and reports about its signing are only speculations. The proposed agreement will be sent to the country’s National Security Council for its approval,” he maintained.

He urged the tribal elders and religious leaders in Kandahar to launch a door-to-door campaign and also visit mosques to mobilise public opinion in favour of the peace process.

The Taliban had refused to hold talks with Ghani’s after he signed a security pact with the United States and NATO that allowed nearly 12,000 Western troops to remain in the troubled country.

While former president Karzai had refused to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, Ghani inked the same hours after he assumed the office in late September.

Read: Afghanistan harnesses anti-Taliban militias as insurgency spreads

According to the Presidential Palace in Kabul, the president told tribal elders, religious scholars and members of the provincial councils in Kandahar that the issue of Durand Line is ‘absolutely not part of the peace talks as it is not him but the people who have the power to make a decision on the issue.’

“We have inherited problems but we have a strong will and determination to solve them,” the Palace quoted the President as saying.

He also called Kandahar ‘the heart of Afghanistan’ and said that instability in the city is tantamount to instability of the entire country.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Kabir
    Jun 9, 2015 - 11:19PM

    How can Afghanistan even think that the Durand Line is still an open issue? It’s NOT. Pakistan’s borders are not going to be adjusted no matter what any other country wants. Peshawar and Quetta will be part of Pakistan forever, no matter what the Afghans think. Recommend

  • Raja Porus
    Jun 10, 2015 - 12:28AM

    In fact, historically speaking, Kabul and Kandahar are both part of Pakistan, therefore we would like to initiate the journey towards re-acquiring these two Pakistani cities from Afghanistan. Do remember that the Kabul Shahi Dynasty which ruled ancient Pakistan for more than 6 centuries had its capital city in Lahore and its frontier capital city was Kabul.Recommend

  • pakhtun
    Jun 10, 2015 - 12:42AM

    As long as Afghans claim it on paper, just like HINDUSTAN does Kashmir and Gilgit, it is just fine.Recommend

  • Abacus
    Jun 10, 2015 - 12:57AM

    Slowly but surely Ashraf Ghani is coming around to the same view as that of Karzai – pakistan cannot be trusted and is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Recommend

  • Sad but true
    Jun 10, 2015 - 1:59AM

    @Kabir:
    This is the same thing India is telling you on Kashmir.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Jun 10, 2015 - 2:40AM

    Again he is talking Indian language if Afghanistan cooperate with Pakistan then peace will come
    Today Mr. President talking about dureand line our country is ourRecommend

  • xyz
    Jun 10, 2015 - 7:17AM

    The world must be coming to an end. Look how how these inferior hindi-e-nasal people humiliating the lion-heart afghans. Recommend

  • Ghani Baba
    Jun 10, 2015 - 8:04AM

    He said that the matter of Durand is upto people of Afghanistan.. Pakistanis must be disappointed. Recommend

  • Ghani Baba
    Jun 10, 2015 - 8:08AM

    Dont tell me that you thought he was going to accept the durand line and devide pashtoons..Recommend

  • Ghani Baba
    Jun 10, 2015 - 8:10AM

    Please correct the typo!Recommend

  • Afzal
    Jun 10, 2015 - 11:53AM

    @Sad but true:
    Growing in nearby gutter called India is always going to mean you will have a restricted mental growth. Leave Pak & Afghanistan alone to work on their issues. Dread about the times when these two countries may decide to have a joint defence, bound to happen once their intelligence agencies start functioning together as recently proposed . And those will be the days when India will face a G’ rap before being pushed into the Indian Ocean with rescue boats arriving from enemy China. Sadly but truly you are being encircled. Ha ha ha!!
    Take a beedi(rolled cigarette) kush (puff) to help sitting up right.Recommend

  • Afghanistan
    Jun 10, 2015 - 1:48PM

    @Kabir:
    If this is the case then Pakistan even shouldn’t think about kashmir. Recommend

  • saad khan
    Jun 10, 2015 - 10:02PM

    What Ashraf Ghani said about Pakistan???
    If anyone know about his speech or suggest me suitable website???Recommend

  • salman
    Jun 11, 2015 - 3:05AM

    We should stop afghan transit trade.send afghan refugees back and seal the border with afghsnists Recommend

  • Be our guest
    Jun 11, 2015 - 11:10AM

    @Raja Porus:

    Go ahead, try to acquire Kandahar. Do your best. Bring everything you got please.Recommend

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