WASHINGTON DC: The stakeholders involved in the Afghan peace process should refrain from the temptation for setting “unrealistic” timelines for an early withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan as it would be “unwise” to do so, said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Khan said that all partners in the Afghan peace process should “resist the temptation” for setting early timelines and guard against those actors who wish to see instability in Afghanistan for their own geopolitical interest.
“A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise. We should also guard against regional spoilers who are not invested in peace and see instability in Afghanistan as advantageous for their own geopolitical ends,” he wrote in the US daily.
This statement in the backdrop of a meeting between delegations from the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha (Qatar) on September 12 for the resumption of negotiations, toward a political settlement in Afghanistan.
Talking about the ongoing talks, Khan said that intra-Afghan negotiations will require patience and compromise from all sides. He said that “a bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than a bloody stalemate on the battlefield.”
His statement comes after the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad recently in an interview said that the Taliban would not agree to a comprehensive ceasefire until there is a political settlement.
“The [Taliban] will not accept a ceasefire–comprehensive and permanent–until there is a political settlement. And that is not unprecedented in similar conflicts elsewhere, I think they can do a reduction of violence, they have said they will consider it depending on what the proposal is. The government is supportive of it too,” Tolo News quoted Khalilzad as saying.
Amid continues attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Khalilzad had said that Washington is ready to work with the Afghan government and the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday reiterated the Afghan government’s commitment to a “just, durable and dignified peace.”
“In a video call with the I.R. of Afghanistan negotiation team in Doha, we reviewed and assessed the latest progress with intra-Afghan talks. I reiterated our full commitment to a just, durable, and dignified peace. I thanked them for their commitment and service on behalf of the nation,” he tweeted.