Kabul Accuses Pakistan of Having its Agenda, Pushing it Through Taliban

Published January 30th, 2019 - 08:01 GMT
Afghanistan (Twitter)
Afghanistan (Twitter)

Kabul has blamed Pakistan for forwarding its agenda through the Taliban in the proposed peace talks as Washington rushes to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Details emerging from the Pakistan-sponsored round of talks in Qatar, Doha between U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban have evidently upset the fragile government in Kabul.

On Monday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani publicly recalled the horrors and destruction the country went through after similar talks for peace failed in the 80s between the Mujahideen and Soviet-backed regime.

"We have the experience of Dr. Najibullah's peace process, how he was cheated, the UN had given him the peace guarantee, but unfortunately it led to tragedy," Ghani said.

 

The U.S. envoy is wooing the Taliban to include the Afghan government into peace talks aimed at ending the 17-year war. However, the Taliban refuse to recognize the Kabul government. The ongoing talks in Qatar are a work-in-progress toward this end.

Ghani's top aide and vice president nominee Amrullah Saleh has taken a harsher stance on how things are moving ahead, accusing the Pakistan military establishment of organizing the Qatar talks to push its agenda.

Addressing reporters in Kabul late on Monday upon his return from Doha, Khalilzad said he had encouraged the Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government.

“We are in a hurry for the sake of the Afghan people to end the violence as soon as we can. We cannot leave the situation in a state of uncertainty. We need to complete the process,” he said.

Pakistan' Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts.

However, in a weekly press briefing last Thursday he said his country's role and position on Afghanistan is very clear that all matters should be resolved through dialogue.

"Pakistan, as a part of the shared responsibility, is facilitating the talks between U.S. and the Taliban -- and Pakistan and Qatar provided the necessary support and facilitation to the talks in Doha," he told reporters.

Kabul-based writer and political commentator Atiq Rehman told Anadolu Agency that Afghanistan feels sidelined by the apparent rush by the Trump administration to withdraw troops.

“Just a year ago, President Donald Trump issued a tough South Asia Policy with pressure on Pakistan to stop harboring the militants, and asserting there would be no timetable for exit from Afghanistan, but now they are in a hurry for withdrawal, and engaged in talks with the Taliban without any representation from the government, this is naturally worrying for President Ghani,” he said.

A number of Pakistani media outlets, including Geo News, reported that the Taliban pledged in talks with the U.S. envoy that the Afghan soil will not be used by Baloch separatist or Pashtun nationalists, who are engaged in armed and peaceful struggle respectively, against the Pakistan army.

In the views of former Afghan spy chief Rehmatullah Nabil this clearly indicates the level of influence Pakistan is having on the talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.

Such concerns in Afghanistan prove that the peace process ahead will be a rocky path to tread on.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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